Students often have difficulty understanding the concept of half-life and the relationship between half-life and the rate of radioactive decay. This simulation can be used as a simple demonstration of the concept or as a short lab using the included worksheet.
A slider is used to alter the rate of decay of 100 large nuclei that are displayed in a 3D matrix. As the nuclei decay, the number of remaining nuclei is displayed on a graph versus time. As the nuclei decay their colour changes so that students develop a visual concept of radioactive decay.