Skittles Radioactive Decay and Frosty Lab

This lab required Frosty the Snowman to be placed in a funnel over a graduated cylinder so when he began to melt we could see how much he had melted over a specific amount of time.Image

Frosty was melting at a rate of .45 mL every minute. We believe that Frosty met his demise at 9:21 which is 58 minutes before we actually began the lab; we had 24 mL of water in the graduated cylinder when we began this mini lab. After we collected our data we were able to graph and find the equation of the line, including the slope which was the rate Frosty melted at.The line of this graph was mostly linear because it had a steady increase almost the entire time.

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In our Skittles Radioactive Decay Lab, we had to collect 80 skittles and place them in a cup, from there we would shake the cup and spill them out onto a flat surface. We separated out the ones with the “s” side down, which represented atoms that decayed, until there were no more left.

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Once the class had finished with their experiments, we came together and wrote down all our results so we could calculate the class average for each toss (half-lives). Then each group graphed their own data radioactive nuclei per toss.When graphing our data, it formed an exponential graph, which is a downward curve as the half-lives continued. This is different from Frosty’s graph, which formed a linear graph that had a slope that increased steadily.

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