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.Archaeologists use the exponential, radioactive decay of carbon 14 to estimate the death dates of organic material.The stable form of carbon is carbon 12 and the radioactive isotope carbon 14 decays over time into nitrogen 14 and other particles.
The carbon-14 decays with its half-life of 5,700 years, while the amount of carbon-12 remains constant in the sample.
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As soon as a living organism dies, it stops taking in new carbon.
When an organism, eg a tree, dies it stops taking in carbon dioxide.
The amount of carbon-14 in the wood decreases with time as it decays into nitrogen with a half-life of about 5700 years.