This lesson provides an overview of basic atomic structure and the concept of radioactive decay. Topics include the particles that make up an atom, binding forces, and the concept of isotopes. There is also discussion of decay methods and half-life versus activity. The lesson includes an activity in which students use online applets to investigate the half-life and activity of selected isotopes and to examine possible decay chains for some others. They will also use a pair of dice to simulate the process of decay.
Intended for grade levels:
Type of resource:
Adobe Acrobat reader
Java plug-in is required to run applets
Cost / Copyright:
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DLESE Catalog ID: ESA-000-000-000-035
This resource requires 'Half-life Applet'
This resource requires 'Radioactive Decay Applet'
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: Kennesaw State University
Environmental Science Activities for the 21st Century (ESA21)
Author: John Pratte
Arkansas State University