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Radiometric dating activity pennies

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the chance that an atom will decay in the next second is unaffected by the fact that it did not decay a second ago.

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Cover the container and shake for about ten seconds (each shake represents 8500 years), holding it tightly to avoid them flying out. Next, remove all the pennies which are now “tails-up.” Count these and put them aside.In fact, any change in the number of objects which depends proportionally on the number of objects present will be described by an exponential.Clearly, population growth depended on this since the number of people that can be born in a year depends on the number of people able to bear children during that year.In this experiment, you will consider a similar case, that of radioactive decay. If the material is radioactive, that means that some of its atoms are continually dying, or, more accurately, they are being transformed into some other type of atom.The probability that any given atom in the material will decay is the same as for all atoms and this probability does not change with time, i.e.The amazing thing is that we can accurately mimic, in a quantitative way, what happens during radioactive decay with just a few pennies. Well, start by noting that when you toss a single coin, the chance that it will land tails up is about 50%, the same as the chance that it will land heads up. If you toss a bunch of pennies into the air, the chance that any particular one of them will be tails up is still 50%.