Explain the process of carbon 14 radioactive dating


Atoms of carbon-12 have 6 neutrons, while atoms of carbon-14 contain 8 neutrons.A neutral atom would have the same number of protons and electrons, so a neutral atom of carbon-12 or carbon-14 would have 6 electrons. This is what your readout said, so your fossil has undergone two half-lives.Now that you know how many half-lives have passed for your fossil, you need to multiply your number of half-lives by how many years are in one half-life. Your fossil is of an organism (maybe human) that died 11,460 years ago.



The method was developed by Willard Libby and his colleagues at the University of Chicago in 1949.The half-lives of several radioactive isotopes are known and are used often to figure out the age of newly found fossils.Different isotopes have different half-lives and sometimes more than one present isotope can be used to get an even more specific age of a fossil.You would need to have access to scientific instruments at this point that could measure the amount of radioactivity in the sample, so off to the lab we go!

After you prepare your sample and put it into the machine, your readout says you have approximately 75% Nitrogen-14 and 25% Carbon-14.

Carbon-12 and carbon-14 are two isotopes of the element carbon.



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