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This lesson is the third in a three-part series about the nucleus, isotopes, and radioactive decay.

The first lesson, Isotopes of Pennies, deals with isotopes and atomic mass.

The exercise they will go through of working backwards from measurements to age should help them understand how scientists use carbon dating to try to determine the age of fossils and other materials.

To be able to do this lesson and understand the idea of half-life, students should understand ratios and the multiplication of fractions, and be somewhat comfortable with probability.

For students, understanding the general architecture of the atom and the roles played by the main constituents of the atom in determining the properties of materials now becomes relevant.