Half life of carbon dating

19-Sep-2017 21:12

The half-lives of certain types of radioisotopes are very useful to know.They allow us to determine the ages of very old artifacts.This decay is an example of an exponential decay, shown in the figure below.Knowing about half-lives is important because it enables you to determine when a sample of radioactive material is safe to handle.Radio carbon dating determines the age of ancient objects by means of measuring the amount of carbon-14 there is left in an object.

So, we rely on radiometric dating to calculate their ages.

As we have mentioned before each radioactive isotope has its own decay pattern.

Not only does it decay by giving off energy and matter, but it also decays at a rate that is characteristic to itself.

We’re going to see what 'half-life' means and why radioactivity changes with time. It doesn’t depend on the size of the sample and it doesn’t change with time. So we imagine going in forward one half-life at a time from ZERO years: 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, etc.

We’ll also see how carbon dating can be used to date ancient remains. If we had a bigger sample of the same isotope then the count would be higher, say 200 becquerels. Then we halve the count for each half-life: 100 Bq after 10 years; 50 Bq after 20 years; 25 Bq after 30 years So we can see the radioactivity would be 25 becquerels afer 30 years.

Half-lives for various radioisotopes can range from a few microseconds to billions of years.