Radioactive decay simulation Honors Chemistry

background [prelab assignment (10 points) due at the beginning of lab]

describe 2 methods using graphical analysis to determine the half-life of a radioactive isotope (hint:  see content of lab report).

review prior Excel dice rolling simulation lab


compare the determination of the half-life based on:

relate the # of faces on a dice to the half-life & decay constant

fulfill various aspects of the NGSS science & engineering standards.


Excel dice rolling simulation

methods / data analysis

initially, simulate 100 radioactive isotopes using Excel

pick a specific value on the dice, which represent the decay of the radioactive isotope

adjust # remaining radioactive isotopes accordingly; repeat till less than 20 dice remain

each set of dice rolls represent an interval of time, while # dice in sample represent # radioactive isotope in the sample

Content of lab report [30 points; no lab report revisions]

data analysis  -  for 6 or 10 sided dice  (15 points)

determine & compare the half-life. 

discussion  (15 points)

what is the (qualitative) relationship between the number of sides on the die versus the (simulated) decay constant or the (simulated) half-life ?  refer to the preceding data to support your response.

rationalize the relationship between the decay constant, half-life, and the # sides on a die; refer to probability to support your response and the relationship between half-life and the decay constant.

describe / list all NGSS science & engineering practices that correlates to an aspect of this laboratory activity; provide an example in the lab & this lab report that meets these practices


lab activity source (examples):  site 1  &  site 2  [access 4 / 2009]

mathematica based tools



other: 2-anova & tutorial

Excel simulation - xlsm (enable VBA)