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  • In this activity, students model the radioactive decay process for carbon-14 by flipping coins. Each coin represents a carbon-14 atom, and if it lands tails up when flipped, this indicates radioactive decay.

    By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

    • appreciate the randomness of radioactive decay
    • describe the concept of half-life
    • explain the exponential nature of radioactive decay
    • relate the radioactivity features of half-life, exponential decay and randomness to C-14 dating of artefacts.

    Download the Word file (see link below) for:

    • introduction/background notes
    • what you need
    • what to do
    • student worksheet.

      Published 9 December 2011 Referencing Hub articles
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