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A fluid flowing from an upper beaker into a lower beaker (shampoo in this case) behaves mathematically identically to radioactive decay, mimicking the exponential decay process, dependent on the amount of fluid in the upper beaker (representing the amount of parent isotopes) and the size of the hole in the beaker (representing the decay constant). Students measure the fluid depth with time for several "runs" with varied conditions, then graph their results, create decay equations, manipulate these equations and use them to "date" another experiment. They then apply their new understanding to make predictions regarding complications involved in the decay process and its use in dating (such as daughter loss). Developed by Lily Claiborne and Calvin Miller.
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