Matter is made of minute particles called atoms, and atoms are composed of even smaller components.
These components have measurable properties, such as mass and electrical charge.
Radioactive isotopes are unstable and undergo spontaneous nuclear reactions, emitting particles and/or wavelike radiation.
See the background information on Students will use half-life properties of isotopes to determine the age of different "rocks" and "fossils" made out of bags of beads.
Through this simulation, they will gain an understanding of how scientists are able to use isotopes such as U-235 and Pb-207 to determine the age of ancient minerals. Science helps drive technology, as it addresses questions that demand more sophisticated instruments and provides principles for better instrumentation and technique.
The atom's nucleus is composed of protons and neutrons, which are much more massive than electrons.
When an element has atoms that differ in the number of neutrons, these atoms are called different isotopes of the element.
This hands-on activity is a simulation of some of the radiometric dating techniques used by scientists to determine the age of a mineral or fossil.The activity uses the basic principle of radioactive half-life, and is a good follow-up lesson after the students have learned about half-life properties.Each atom has a positively charged nucleus surrounded by negatively charged electrons.The electric force between the nucleus and electrons holds the atom together.Technology is essential to science, because it provides instruments and techniques that enable observations of objects and phenomena that are otherwise unobservable due to factors such as quantity, distance, location, size, and speed.Technology also provides tools for investigations, inquiry, and analysis.