In this activity, leads the students in understanding of half- life, exponential radioactive decay and how to find the age of the rocks by creating and interpreting a graphs. Students simulate radioactive decay of Ar-K with kernels and popped corn in a microwave popcorn bag as a “kernelite/popcornium” system. They count the number of kernels and popped corn, plot the “decay” curve of kernelite and the “accumulation” curve of popcornium, and use these curves to establish the “half-life” of kernelite. Then they determine the “age” (popping time) unknown popcorn bag. The learning activity provides the lesson outline, student handout, and links to background information to be used by the instructor.
Educator and learner
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