Education Technology

Nuclear Decay and Chain Reactions

Published on 09/08/2010

Activity Overview

Students determine the decay constant and half-life and begin to look at nuclear fission by simulating a chain reaction.

Key Steps

  • Image

    Students are shown animations of alpha, beta, and gamma emissions. Each animation shows a radiation source (black box) and two electrically charged plates (solid lines).

  • Image

    Students examine the three nuclear decay equations that show three fission reactions that a U-235 nucleus can undergo.

  • Image

    Students are shown a simulation of the early stages of a nuclear chain reaction.