Radioactive carbon dating worksheet

So even we humans are radioactive because of trace amounts of radiocarbon in our bodies.

After radiocarbon forms, the nuclei of the carbon-14 atoms are unstable, so over time they progressively decay back to nuclei of stable nitrogen-14.3 A neutron breaks down to a proton and an electron, and the electron is ejected. The ejected electrons are called beta particles and make up what is called beta radiation. Different carbon-14 atoms revert to nitrogen-14 at different times, which explains why radiocarbon decay is considered a random process.

To measure the rate of decay, a suitable detector records the number of beta particles ejected from a measured quantity of carbon over a period of time, say a month (for illustration purposes).

Since each beta particle represents one decayed carbon-14 atom, we know how many carbon-14 atoms decay during a month.

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By comparing the surviving amount of carbon-14 to the original amount, scientists can calculate how long ago the animal died.

Next comes the question of how scientists use this knowledge to date things.

If carbon-14 has formed at a constant rate for a very long time and continually mixed into the biosphere, then the level of carbon-14 in the atmosphere should remain constant.

Rb)—are not being formed on earth, as far as we know.

Thus it appears that God probably created those elements when He made the original earth.

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