Radiometric Dating Using VPython and Glowscript

Faculty Commons material developed by Michele Montgomery - Published July 14, 2019

Goals: To gain experience in modifying python code to solve physics problems regarding radioactive decay and/or rates of decay; to gain an understanding of ionizing radiation like beta decay and effects on human tissues from external impacts. Major Objectives/Checklist of Successes for Non-Majors and Majors: 1. To calculate the age of a sample of linen wrapper via radiometric dating using paper and pencil as well as a python numerical code. 2. To compare that calculated age with the claimed theoretical age of linen wrapper, which is around t ~ A.D. 30 years. 3. To conclude whether the calculated age is ~ A.D. 30 years, well before (B.C. or t << A.D. 1 year), or well after (t >> A.D. 30 years). 4. To determine if beta decay is damaging to human tissue.

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