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Statistical probablity is the only thing we can know exactly.
Students often struggle with this concept; therefore, it should be stressed that it is impossible to know exactly when each of the radioactive elements in a rock will decay.
The atoms that are involved in radioactive decay are called isotopes.
In reality, every atom is an isotope of one element or another.
Showing this plot and asking them questions about the shape and changes in number of isotopes through time may help students to develop some intuition about half-life.
Although most introductory students may not be prepared for the equation for exponential decay, discussion of half-life and radioactive decay prepares entry-level students for the introduction of more mathematical discussion of exponential growth and decay in upper level classes.
The only way that this can happen is by changing the number of protons in the nucleus (an element is defined by its number of protons).