Half life dating activity
As long as you follow these four steps you will always be able to accurately determine the age of a rock or fossil.
The first thing we want to know to find the age of an object is to figure out how many half-lives have passed.
Radiocarbon dating can be used on samples of bone, cloth, wood and plant fibers.
The half-life of a radioactive isotope describes the amount of time that it takes half of the isotope in a sample to decay.
The resulting radiocarbon combines with atmospheric oxygen to form radioactive carbon dioxide, which is incorporated into plants by photosynthesis; animals then acquire in a sample from a dead plant or animal such as a piece of wood or a fragment of bone provides information that can be used to calculate when the animal or plant died.
The stable form of carbon is carbon 12 and the radioactive isotope carbon 14 decays over time into nitrogen 14 and other particles.So, the fossil is 8,680 years old, meaning the living organism died 8,680 years ago.HALF LIFE IS THE AMOUNT OF TIME IT TAKES FOR ONE HALF OF THE RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL TO DECAY INTO A STABLE FORM.Where t is the age of the fossil (or the date of death) and ln() is the natural logarithm function.
If the fossil has 35% of its carbon 14 still, then we can substitute values into our equation.
In the case of radiocarbon dating, the half-life of carbon 14 is 5,730 years.