Uses of nuclear radiation in carbon dating


Radiocarbon dating

Uranium has a very long half-life and so by measuring how much uranium is left in a rock its approximate age can be worked out. Back to Radiation for life index.

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Print Science Uses of radioisotopes. Radioactive dating Carbon dating Carbon is a radioactive isotope of carbon it has two extra neutrons in its nucleus making it unstable.

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Radiocarbon Dating

There is a small amount of radioactive carbon in all living organisms because it enters the food chain. Once an organism dies, it stops taking in carbon The carbon it contained at the time of death decays over a long period of time, and the radioactivity of the material decreases.

The approximate time since the organism died can be worked out by measuring the amount of carbon left in its remains compared to the amount in living organisms. Back to Radiation for life index. This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets CSS enabled.


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