Simulation documentation

A computer simulation of the “radioactive dice” classroom experiment, which models radioactive decay. Microsoft's pseudorandom number generator is used to generate random numbers in lieu of dice.

The four user-controlled options in the simulation are:

The decay constant and half-life are automatically calculated from the chosen probability and time unit. These two values can be independently viewed in a range of units (chosen from the drop-down boxes next to each number).

When the “Run Simulation” button is pressed, a light blue curve is drawn, which is the theoretical prediction of the decay calculated using the Rutherford-Soddy exponential decay equation. The simulation then proceeds to roll the “dice”. A series of black vertical lines are plotted, representing the number of dice remaining after each roll. These results are random (really pseudo-random) and change each time the simulation is run. The more dice rolled, the closer the results match the theoretical prediction.