The science of nuclear energy
The science of nuclear energy

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The science of nuclear energy

1.3.2 Isotope trumps!

Fancy a hand of cards? Have a go at our Isotope trumps game!

We’ve placed the same five attributes (proton number, neutron number, half-life, the speed of the emitted particle and the energy of the emitted particle) for a number of isotopes for you to compare.

Half-life will be explained more fully next week but consider it as a measure of how rapidly an atom decays. A short half-life means that it decays very quickly and a long half-life indicates a slower decay.

You win a turn by choosing an attribute that has a higher value than on the card held by your opponent, the computer. You can choose how smart the computer is. Normally, whoever wins a turn plays first in the next turn, but you can give yourself an extra advantage by forcing the computer to always play second.

You will need to take an ‘educated guess’ in many cases. We hope this will improve your feel for the nature and uses of many different isotopes. When you’ve had enough, move on to the next section. You can come back any time you like and try to beat the computer as your knowledge grows.

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