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Radioactive Lab

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Introduction

Radioactive Lab Data: 100 Pennies Number Of Trial Amount Of Pennies Left 1 47 2 21 3 16 4 7 5 5 6 3 7 2 8 0 10 Pennies, 1 Minute Number Of Trial Amount Of Pennies Left 1 3 2 6 3 0 4 1 Graphs: Conclusion: Radiometric dating attempts to use the constant decay of radioactive substances as a way to measure the age of rocks and minerals. Scientists attempt to deduce time for events in the past, using the presently determined rate of disintegration of unstable forms of atoms. The techniques are varied and complex. The methods involve a number of assumptions with varying degrees of certainty. ...read more.

Middle

The shaking of the cup is random and which pennies come up heads is also random. What can be predicted is the amount of pennies that will decay. For each trial the amount of decayed pennies should decrease by half. The experiment achieved the radioactive decay curve. The amount of pennies that decayed weren't exactly half, but it was close enough to see the curve and make the theory valid. From comparing my data with other teams in the room the results were very similar. I performed a T-test with my experiment and one other group. With a P-value of 0.9678 the difference is not significant. I found research online using 50 M&Ms. ...read more.

Conclusion

There was also a radioactive decay curve making the results more valid. In order to change the procedure I would increase the sample size to see if there was a blind error in the theory making the power of the experiment increase. I would increase the number of pennies to 200 and record my results. Then repeat the same experiment twice so I could perform a T-test to see how significant the results would be. To improve this investigation I would use the knowledge from this lab you find the relative age of rocks. Give students a Half Life graph of a compound to see if they can figure out the ages. For example half life of U-235 graphed. This way the class can try to figure out the radiometric ages of different rocks. ...read more.

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