Radioactive Decay and Popping Popcorn -- Understanding the Rate Law
- Consider a familiar occurrence of exponential decay in a quantitative way.
- Gain experience in forward modeling of an exponential decay phenomenon.
- Consider the relationship between the decay constant and the probability that a particular parent atom of a radioactive isotope will convert to its radiogenic daughter atom
- Gain experience in fitting a trendline to a column of data.
Context for Use
Description and Teaching Materials
SSAC2005.QE514.CES1.1-student (PowerPoint 706kB Feb16 07)
The module is a PowerPoint presentation with embedded spreadsheets. If the embedded spreadsheets are not visible, save the PowerPoint file to disk and open it from there.
This PowerPoint file is the student version of the module. An instructor version is available by request. The instructor version includes the completed spreadsheet. Send your request to Len Vacher (firstname.lastname@example.org) by filling out and submitting the Instructor Module Request Form.
Teaching Notes and Tips
The last slide is an end-of-module assignment that can be used to examine student understanding and learning gains.
The instructor's version also includes a pretest that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the module.