Carolina Biological-Knowledge Center – April 2024

The Standards

Disciplinary Core Ideas

Physical Science (PS)

Listed below are the Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI) for Physical Science and bullet points for their specific grade band progression.


PS1: Matter and Its Interactions

PS1.C: Nuclear Processes

Primary School (K-2)
Elementary School (3-5)
Middle School (6-8)
High School (9-12)

Nuclear processes, including fusion, fission, and radioactive decays of unstable nuclei, involve release or absorption of energy. The total number of neutrons plus protons does not change in any nuclear process.

Spontaneous radioactive decays follow a characteristic exponential decay law. Nuclear lifetimes allow radiometric dating to be used to determine the ages of rocks and other materials.