# Formula for carbon dating half life

By comparing how much carbon-14 there is in the dead organism with the amount in a living one, the age of the dead organism can be estimated.The half-life of uranium-238 is 4500 million years.

So this is just an ordinary beta decay process and this carbon fourteen's half life is way way way too short for any carbon to just kind of exist naturally in the atmosphere, you'd think, not quite right. So that mean that 1.3 times 10 to the -12 carbon 14 atoms, exist for each and every carbon 12 atom in nature. So you'd think that if you got this 1.3 times 10 to the -12 carbon 14 atoms for each carbon 12 atom at some time, well then 5700 years later, half of the carbon 14 will have decayed. But in fact what happens is, cosmic rays from the sun interact with the upper atmosphere and they actually create carbon 14, at this rate so that in equilibrium, 1.3 times 10 to the -12 carbon 14 atoms will exist for every carbon 12 atom. It's no longer replenishing its carbon 14 supply. This is our standard radioactive decay formula, always works.Carbon dating uses an unstable isotope of carbon to find the date of dead substances.This isotope Carbon-14 has a half life of 5,700 years.For example, if the half-life of a 50.0 gram sample is 3 years, then in 3 years only 25 grams would remain.During the next 3 years, 12.5 grams would remain and so on.Plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and animals eat plants.

This means all living things have radioactive carbon-14 in them.

If half of the uranium-238 has turned into lead-206 the rock will be 4500 million years old.

Scientists look at half-life decay rates of radioactive isotopes to estimate when a particular atom might decay.

At first glance, it may seem that not enough information was provided to solve this problem.

However, if the half-life value is given for time (t) then the value of (because only half of the original material remains).

So that's taking into account all the decays and all that stuff, this is a natural abundance. And that means that as time goes on, the carbon 14 abundance will decrease. So the amount that we've got at our time now is 0.5 times 10 to the -12.