Nuclear chemistry/physics is an interesting component that is often left to the end of the year and covered shallowly. This worksheet allows students to get a sense of how the age of the earth has been determined and then to practice alpha and beta decay through the U-238 sequence. There are 14 steps that lead to the stable Pb-206 isotope.
The file includes a bit on half lives and has students use the information on the isotopes to answer questions including some about Radon-222, the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. This is an appropriate follow up to your lesson on alpha and beta decay. Students can work alone or in cooperative pairs.
Keywords: nuclear, chemistry, physics, quantum, binding energy, half-life, decay, alpha, beta, gamma, radiation, radioisotope, isotope, daughter, parent, electron, neutron, nucleus, radon