# Carbon dating activity its a puzzle

With the Half-Life Laboratory, students gain a better understanding of radioactive dating and half-lives.

Students are able to visualize and model what is meant by *Carbon dating activity its a puzzle* half-life of a reaction. By extension, this experiment is a useful analogy to radioactive decay and carbon dating. This experiment is best used by student working in pairs. Objectives Students try to model radioactive decay by using the scientific thought process of creating a hypothesis, then testing it through inference.

It is a great introduction to the scientific process of deducing, forming scientific theories, and communicating with peers. It is also useful in the mathematics classroom by the process of graphing the data.

Seeing this connection will help students to understand how scientists can determine the age of a sample by looking at the amount of radioactive material in the sample. Background Half-Life If two nuclei have different masses, but the same atomic number, those nuclei are considered to be isotopes.

Isotopes Carbon dating activity its a puzzle the same chemical properties, but different physical properties. An example of isotopes is carbon, which has three main isotopes, carbon, carbon and carbon All three isotopes have the same atomic number of 6, but have different numbers of neutrons.

Carbon has 2 more neutrons than carbon and 1 more than carbon, both of which are stable. Carbon is radioactive and undergoes radioactive decay. Radioactive materials contain some nuclei that are stable and other nuclei that are unstable. Not all of the atoms of a radioactive isotope radioisotope decay at the same time. Rather, the atoms decay at a rate that is characteristic to the isotope.

The rate of decay is a fixed rate called a half-life. The half-life of a radioactive isotope refers to the amount of time required for half of a quantity of a radioactive isotope to decay. Carbon has a half-life of years, which means that if you take one gram of carbon, half of it will decay in years. Different isotopes have different half-lives. The ratio of the amounts of carbon to carbon in a human is the same as in every other living thing. After death, the carbon decays and is not replaced.

Carbon dating activity its a puzzle carbon decays, with its half-life of 5, years, while the amount of carbon remains constant in the sample. By looking at the ratio of carbon to carbon in the sample and comparing it to the ratio in a living organism, it is possible to determine the age of a formerly living thing.

Radiocarbon dates do not "Carbon dating activity its a puzzle" archaeologists exactly how old an artifact is, but they can date the sample within a few hundred years of the age. You might suggest that the students experiment with their graphing results to see if trends begin to form. Flows, Cycles, and Conservation Objectives Students try to model radioactive decay by using the scientific thought process of creating a hypothesis, then testing it through inference.

To define the terms half-life and radioactive decay To model the rate of radioactive decay To create line graphs from collected data To compare data To understand how radioactive decay is used to date archaeological artifacts Background Half-Life If two nuclei have different masses, but the same atomic number, those nuclei are considered to be isotopes. Have the students spill out the candies onto a flat surface. Have the students record the number of candies they returned to the bag under the next Trial.

The students should move the candies that are blank on the top to the side — these have now decayed to a stable state. The students should repeat steps 2 through 5 until all the candies have decayed or until they have completed Trial 7. Set up a place on the board where all students or groups can record their data. The *Carbon dating activity its a puzzle* will record the results for 9 other groups in their data tables and total all the Trials for the candies NGSS Guided Inquiry Explain about radiation and half-lives of isotopes.

Shake the bag and spill out the candies onto a flat surface. Record the number of candies you returned to the bag under the next Trial. Move the candies that are blank Carbon dating activity its a puzzle the top to the side — these have now decayed to a stable state.

Repeat steps 2 through 5 until all the candies have decayed or until you have completed Trial 7. Record the results for 9 other Carbon dating activity its a puzzle

and total all the Trials for the candies. Do the number of atoms you start with affect the outcome?

Did each group get the same results? Did any group still have candies remaining after Trial 7? What happens to the total number of candies with each trial half-life? *Carbon dating activity its a puzzle* the total *Carbon dating activity its a puzzle* on a graph with number of candies on the vertical axis and trial number on the horizontal axis.

Is the result a straight or a curved line? What does the line indicate about the nature of decay of radionuclides? How do scientists use radioactive decay to date fossils and artifacts? Assessment Ideas Question the student about how this experiment is similar to Carbon Dating. Enrichment Question The population of the earth is doubling every 40 years. If the population of the earth is now 7 billion people, how many people will be here when you are 95 years old?

Sign up for newsletters. From taurus men on this one in particular and would rather. Have much invested in terms of an active dating life you would never send your personal, credit card. Activity Time: minutes (1 Class Period).

Materials: Bag of: M&M's ®, pennies or, puzzle pieces; Paper – ˝ x 11˝; Graph Paper; Zip-Lock Bags; Pen, The carbon decays, with its half-life of 5, years, while the amount of carbon to give millions and billions of years—carbon dating can only with their surroundings, The number of cosmic rays reaching Earth varies with the sun's activity, and with . It is an unsolved mystery to evolutionists as to why coal has 14C in.