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Well, this site provides over 30 years of information. Would you support our efforts to keep this information coming for 30 more years?Read the passage in this science printable to learn about the history of radioactive dating and its uses.When an element has atoms that differ in the number of neutrons, these atoms are called different isotopes of the element.Radioactive isotopes are unstable and undergo spontaneous nuclear reactions, emitting particles and/or wavelike radiation.Students will answer comprehension questions and solve word problems using a table with information about the half-lives of radioactive elements.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.

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.

Geologic time can be estimated by observing rock sequences and using fossils to correlate the sequences at various locations.

Current methods include using the known decay rates of radioactive isotopes present in rocks to measure the time since the rock was formed.

The decay of radioactive isotopes is like a clock ticking away, keeping track of the time that has passed since the rock has formed.

As time passes, the concentration of parent material in a rock decreases as the concentration of daughter product increases.

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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.