Education Technology

NUMB3RS - Season 1 - "Dirty Bomb" - A Matter of Half-Life and Death

Published on 10/17/2008

Activity Overview

This activity is based on the properties of Cesium-137, a radioactive isotope that can result from the fission of plutonium and uranium, a common source of energy used to produce nuclear power. The activity uses a variation of the conventional function for exponential decay, in which the values of the function are determined using the appropriate time unit. This bypasses the extra step of determining the number of half-lives and then converting to the desired time unit.

Before the Activity

Download the attached PDF and look over the Teacher Page.

During the Activity

Discuss the materials from the Student Page with your class.

After the Activity

Encourage students to explore web sites and questions from the Extensions Page.