This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection
- Scientific Accuracy
- Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
- Pedagogic Effectiveness
- Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
- Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page
This page first made public: Feb 25, 2006
This activity leads students through derivations of the equations associated with radiometric dating: the radioactive decay equation, the half-life equation and the age equation. After the equations have been derived, students are asked to apply them to geologic applications: Which radioactive element is appropriate for dating in a certain age range? How accurate are figures for half-lives? How do you deal with decays which produce radioactive products which then themselves decay?
- Have student work their way through derivations of equations used in radiometric dating.
- Expose students to geological applications for radiometric dating.
Context for Use
Activity Sheet (Acrobat (PDF) 508kB Jan20 04)
Student answer several questions and do several calculations and derivations over the course of the activity which can be handed in for grading.
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Controlled Vocabulary Terms
Resource Type: Activities:Lab Activity, Classroom Activity
Special Interest: Quantitative
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Quantitative Skills: Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry, Vectors and Matrices
Ready for Use: Ready to Use
Topics: Time/Earth History