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Current methods include using the known decay rates of radioactive isotopes present in rocks to measure the time since the rock was formed.

Before class begins, prepare five bags filled with about 100 beads each.

Instead of using exponents and natural logs, the students can just use a graph of predicted decay rates to determine the number of half-lives the isotope has gone through based on this percentage ().

For instance, in fossil one, the students will take 15 divided by 60 and come up with the percentage .25.

See the background information on Students will use half-life properties of isotopes to determine the age of different "rocks" and "fossils" made out of bags of beads.

Through this simulation, they will gain an understanding of how scientists are able to use isotopes such as U-235 and Pb-207 to determine the age of ancient minerals. Science helps drive technology, as it addresses questions that demand more sophisticated instruments and provides principles for better instrumentation and technique.

The electric force between the nucleus and electrons holds the atom together.

A good idea is to have the graph printed on the worksheet with the data table so that the students can have it right in front of them.

Dating the fossil record activity answers Is a faq page. Mother s day is a timeline of popular sclence lessons for life.

Have the students rotate in groups from station to station until they have figured out the age of all five fossils.

This ratio gives you the percentage of parent isotope atoms left after radioactive decay.

This hands-on activity is a simulation of some of the radiometric dating techniques used by scientists to determine the age of a mineral or fossil.

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