Radiometric dating activity pennies

16 May

Before working on this lesson, students should be familiar with the periodic table and should have had some basic instruction in the following concepts: isotopes, mass number, and atomic number.

Students should be able to describe an atom and its basic structure.

The most common rates used are the decay rates of radioactive elements; sometimes termed radiometric dating.

To demonstrate that isotopes of an element have different masses; that isotopes are atoms of the same element that have different numbers of neutrons; and that atomic mass is the weighted average of the naturally occurring isotopes of an element.

However, in contrast, the chances that an atom of polonium-214 will decay during one minute are very high.

If the age of a layer is known, then the fossils or rock layers are relatively older or younger than that layer based on their position above or below the known layer.

Learn about different types of radiometric dating, such as carbon dating.

Understand how decay and half life work to enable radiometric dating.

the chance that an atom will decay in the next second is unaffected by the fact that it did not decay a second ago.

Clearly the number of atoms decaying in one second depends on the number of atoms you start with, but the chance of any individual atom decaying in a given time period is always the same.