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Again, after 30 seconds have passed, dump your coins on a table and remove all the 'heads.' Write down how many remain, and continue this process until all your coins have 'decayed.' Notice at the end how you can never have half of a coin, so when you're down to just one or two coins, you can see the probabilistic nature of them decaying.
In nuclear reactions, most likely instead of starting out with 16 atoms or even 100 atoms, you would be measuring the amount you have in grams (or some other mass unit).Then, if I wait 5.27 more years, half of the eight cobalt-60 atoms that were left should decay, giving me only four cobalt-60 atoms and a total of 12 nickel-60 atoms.If I wait 5.27 years after that, half of the cobalt that remained will decay into nickel-60, giving me 14 atoms of nickel-60 and only two atoms of cobalt-60.Scientists measure how much carbon-14 is left in a sample, and they are able to estimate how many half-lives it went through.This will allow them to get an approximate idea of how old the material is. However, many don't pose much of a threat because they have such long half-lives.