Learn about different types of radiometric dating, such as carbon dating.Understand how decay and half life work to enable radiometric dating.Play a game that tests your ability to match the percentage of the dating element that remains to the age of the object.

carbon dating half life worksheet-68

Carbon dating, also known as radiocarbon dating, is a method of estimating the age of carbon-bearing materials up to 60,000 years old.

However, it is also used to determine ages of rocks, plants, trees, etc. When the sun’s rays reach them, a few of these particles turn into carbon 14 (a radioactive carbon).

The highest rate of carbon-14 production takes place at altitudes of 9 to 15 km (30,000 to 50,000 ft).

At high geomagnetic latitudes, the carbon-14 spreads evenly throughout the atmosphere and reacts with oxygen to form carbon dioxide.

Carbon dioxide also permeates the oceans, dissolving in the water.

Plants take in atmospheric carbon dioxide by photosynthesis, and are ingested by animals.So, every living thing is constantly exchanging carbon-14 with its environment as long as it lives. The carbon in its body will remain until it decomposes or fossilizes.The amount of carbon-14 gradually decreases through radioactive beta decay with a half-life of 5,730 years.So, scientists can estimate the age of the fossil by looking at the level of decay in its radioactive carbon.Some chemical elements have more than one type of atom. Carbon has two stable, nonradioactive isotopes: carbon-12 (12C), and carbon-13 (13C).In addition, there are trace amounts of the unstable isotope carbon-14 (14C) on Earth.