Radioactive dating short definition


07-Jul-2017 17:28

Radiocarbon dating marine organisms has added complications in Antarctica, because around the Antarctic continent old deep ocean currents up well. These currents are contaminated with ‘old’ carbon, meaning that marine organisms alive today have a radio-carbon age of about 1200 years[5, 6]. After you prepare your sample and put it into the machine, your readout says you have approximately 75% Nitrogen-14 and 25% Carbon-14.Now it is time to put those math skills to good use.By measuring the ratio of the amount of the original radioactive element to the daughter isotope, scientists can determine how many half-lives the element has undergone and from there can figure out the absolute age of the sample.The half-lives of several radioactive isotopes are known and are used often to figure out the age of newly found fossils.At one half-life, you would have approximately 50% Carbon-14 and 50% Nitrogen-14.In other words, half (50%) of the Carbon-14 you started with has decayed into the daughter isotope Nitrogen-14.

The best radioactive element to use to date human fossils is Carbon-14.This carbon is therefore present in their bodies and bones.



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