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.