Radiocarbon dating ppt

17-May-2019 07:50

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It takes about 5,730 years for half of a sample of radiocarbon to decay back into nitrogen.

It takes another 5,730 for half of the remainder to decay, and then another 5,730 for half of what's left then to decay and so on.

The radioactive carbon-14 combines with oxygen to form carbon dioxide and is incorporated into the cycle of living things.

The carbon-14 forms at a rate which appears to be constant, so that by measuring the radioactive emissions from once-living matter and comparing its activity with the equilibrium level of living things, a measurement of the time elapsed can be made.

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So, if we find the remains of a dead creature whose C-12 to C-14 ratio is half of what it's supposed to be (that is, one C-14 atom for every two trillion C-12 atoms instead of one in every trillion) we can assume the creature has been dead for about 5,730 years (since half of the radiocarbon is missing, it takes about 5,730 years for half of it to decay back into nitrogen).

FORMATION OF C-14 Cosmic ray protons blast nuclei in the upper atmosphere, producing neutrons which in turn bombard nitrogen, the major constituent of the atmosphere .

This neutron bombardment produces the radioactive isotope carbon-14.

C-12 is by far the most common isotope, while only about one in a trillion carbon atoms is C-14.

C-14 is produced in the upper atmosphere when nitrogen-14 (N-14) is altered through the effects of cosmic radiation bombardment (a proton is displaced by a neutron effectively changing the nitrogen atom into a carbon isotope).

The technique of radiocarbon dating was developed by Willard Libby and his colleagues at the University of Chicago in 1949.