Example concept half life used radiometric dating video dating service youtube

Posted by / 08-Feb-2020 10:55

This technique relies on the property of half-life.

Half-life is defined as the time it takes for one-half of a radioactive element to decay into a daughter isotope.

As radioactive isotopes of elements decay, they lose their radioactivity and become a brand new element known as a daughter isotope.

Half of 50% is 25%, so you would have 25% Carbon-14 and 75% Nitrogen-14.

Below is a chart of commonly used radiometric isotopes, their half-lives, and the daughter isotopes they decay into.

Let's say you found a fossil you think to be a human skeleton.

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.

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The term is commonly used in nuclear physics to describe how quickly unstable atoms undergo, or how long stable atoms survive, radioactive decay.

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