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Radioactive Decay, Age Dating, Geologic Time - Assignment Example

Extract of sample Radioactive Decay, Age Dating, Geologic Time

Now use the matches to represent a different radioactive element (with a different half-life). Write a "D" on one side of the box to indicate daughter isotopes. Place the matches in the box and shake well (up and down, not side to side as the matches will “line up” with side to side shaking). After shaking (one time step) remove all matches that point (using the head of the match as the pointing end) toward the end of the box that is indicated by the D. Record the number of remaining matches in the box and repeat until nearly all of the matches have been removed. Plot the results on both of the attached graphs. Use a dot for the coins and a plus sign for the matches. Connect the points on your graphs with a smooth line. Your graph should now resemble in shape the curve in Figure I-5. The more coins used, the better will be the resemblance. (The reason for this is that statistics do not apply well to small samples. An individual gambler can never predict how he or she might do on a given try at a slot machine but averaged over many thousands of gamblers, the casino owners are assured of a steady flow of profits.) In the same way, we can never predict just when an individual radioactive atom will decay, but when we are dealing with billions of atoms in rocks (which is always the case), we can be assured that the Law of Radioactive Decay is followed very closely. Use both the linear scale and logarithmic scale graph for the penny and the match data - plot both data sets (pennies and matches) on both graphs. ...Show more

Summary

This assignment "Radioactive Decay, Age Dating, Geologic Time" is focused on the above-mentioned phenomena. Reportedly, the activity illustrates the concepts of radioactive decay of elements, half-life and how the age of a radioactive-element-bearing rock is determined…
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