Chemistry definition radioactive dating

15 Nov

The thing to remember about half-life is that it is a probability.In the example above, 500 atoms are "expected" to decay. It is just what will happen on average over the course of billions and billions of atoms.This means that if you have a sample of carbon-14 with 1,000 atoms, 500 of these atoms are expected to decay over the course of 5730 years.

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A useful application of half-lives is radioactive dating.

This has to do with figuring out the age of ancient things.

Libby was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work in 1960.

Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere contains a constant amount of carbon-14, and as long as an organism is living, the amount of carbon-14 inside it is the same as the atmosphere.