• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Investigating radioactive decay using coins

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Challenge 10-Investiaging radioactive decay using coins.

Research question: Does our radioactive modeling with coins illustrate radioactive decay?

Hypothesis: I believe that it is possible to illustrate radioactive decay by trying to model it using coins. Radioactive decay is a random process and is not affected by external conditions. This means that there is no way of knowing whether or not a nucleus is going to decay within a certain period of time. However, due to the large numbers of atoms involved we can make some accurate predictions. For example, if we start with a given number of atoms then we can expect a certain number to decay in the next minute. If there were more atoms in the sample, we would expect the number decaying to be larger. As a result the rate of decay of a sample is directly proportional to the number of atoms in the sample.

image00.png

This proportionality means that radioactive decay is an exponential process. As a result, I believe that we can model

...read more.

Middle

7

1

31

8

1

31

9

1

31

10

0

32

Tables showing the number of parent and daughter coins at each step (Trial 2)

Time Step

Number of Pennies

Number of other coins

1

32

0

2

17

15

3

10

22

4

9

23

5

6

26

6

1

31

7

0

32

Tables showing the number of parent and daughter coins at each step (Trial 3)

Time Step

Number of Pennies

Number of other coins

1

32

0

2

9

23

3

6

26

4

2

30

5

1

31

6

1

31

7

0

32

Uncertainties haven’t been included in any of the tables due to the fact that there wasn’t anything we were measuring. We are only modeling an experiment here and we through coins. It either flips up or down so there is no uncertainty.

Data processing:

In order to understand the

...read more.

Conclusion

th try all of them come up as head-side up. That would totally mess all the results and wouldn’t support the theory of radioactivity. Other than that I cannot think of any weaknesses.  

Improvements: Thinking of realistic improvement for this modeling exercise isn’t possible because it is a modeling exercise and not an experiment. However, it never hurts to take more trial – perhaps- 10 trials and then taking averages. This would give more accurate results but then again because this experiment relies too much on chance, doing 10 trials might make the results even worse. Another improvement can be is to use much more coins, for example a hundred coins. This gives a greater possibility to monitor radioactive decay.

image04.jpgimage05.jpg

I am sorry that I couldn’t do all experiments but as you know we- the chemists- also had to do chemistry investigations and therefore we didn’t have enough time to do all the experiments.

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Physics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Physics essays

  1. Experiment on looking at enthalpy of solutions

    61,00 17,70 17,80 17,75 62,00 17,70 17,80 17,75 63,00 17,70 17,80 17,75 64,00 17,70 17,80 17,75 65,00 17,60 17,70 17,65 66,00 17,70 17,80 17,75 67,00 17,70 17,80 17,75 68,00 17,60 17,70 17,65 69,00 17,60 17,70 17,65 70,00 17,60 17,70 17,65 71,00 17,60 17,70 17,65 72,00 17,60 17,70 17,65 73,00 17,60

  2. Physics Wave revision question

    Frequency Wavelength A. No change No change B. Change No change C. No change Change D. Change Change (1) 22. A bat approaches an insect of wing span length d. The bat emits a sound wave. The bat detects the insect if the sound is reflected from the insect.

  1. design of a variable resistor

    Ammeter (amp) Voltage (V) Resistance (Ohm) 4.7 0.28 0.05957447 4.75 0.28 0.05894737 4.8 0.3 0.0625 Average resistance of the 3 Wires with Different Thickness (Diameter) Diameter (mm) Resistance (Ohm) 0.06174412 0.059712123 0.05657483 Difference mm - mm =0.002031997 mm - mm =0.003137293 Average difference = 0.002584645 Lengths Testing Copper wire with length of 1st experiment Lengths (cm)

  2. The Half-life of dice Decay investigation

    since there is more dice involved in the shuffling of the container, so there is a higher possibility that more dice are not rolled probably. The percentage error becomes smaller gradually since the number of dice in the container decreases when more shuffles are made, so the possibility that the dice are not rolled probably decreases at the same time.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work