Radioactive dating activity pennies what is the point of online dating
T1, T2, T3, etc., on the horizontal axis are the number of times the coins are flipped. is the half life of the penny element for this exercise. The teacher should make a graph on the chalkboard or overhead projector to record the class results.
Connect a line through the results on the graph. Because half lives and elemental decays are a matter of probability, one trial is not enough. This also reinforces the scientific testing process.
Students will use their graph (or a class data set graph) to calculate the age of some hypothetical unknowns to develop a better understanding of how rocks are dated using absolute age dating methods. In relative dating, the position of a fossil or the layer in rock in which a fossil occurs is determined to be relatively older or younger than another layer by its position.
Materials How can scientists tell the age of a fossil? In any stacking of undisturbed, horizontally bedded sedimentary rock units, the oldest strata are at the bottom of the stack and the youngest are at the top of the stack.
Have all of the students toss their penny (or each penny) once. The teacher and students should write the total number of parent isotopes (heads) on the graph for time 1 (the first half life of the element).
If heads, then the isotope in the penny element is unchanged and remains a parent isotope. If tails, then the element has changed to its daughter isotope, which is now stable, and cannot toss anymore. Students should do the same on their worksheet.