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Carbon 14 dating watch

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    Carbon 14 dating allows the age of carbon based material to be estimated. Explain this process with reference to the carbon isotopes involved.


    Carbon in "carbon-based material" contains a constant ratio of the isotopes of carbon.

    But carbon-14 decays as it is radioactive. (Carbon-12 and carbon-13 do not decay.)

    From these two points, you can work out the age of a fossil by simple mass spectrometry and maths.

    I think?

    Check this link: http://science.howstuffworks.com/carbon-142.htm

    Um, carbon-14 has a half life of about 5600 years, i think.
    There are about 1 in every 10 000 000 particles.
    From this, you'll be able to work out the date of a object

    i'll use an example:

    A piece of cloth contains 1 in 40 000 000 particles. calculate the age from which this cloth is made.

    at the time in which it was made, there'll be 1 in 10 000 000
    after on half life, it'll have 1 in 20 000 000
    after two half lives, it'll have 1 in 40 000 000.

    So two half lives have passed.........two half lives = 5600*2 = 11200
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Updated: October 20, 2006

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