The Science *Behind* *Carbon* *Dating* SAL: In the last video we saw all sorts of different types of isotopes of atoms experiencing radioactive decay and turning into other atoms or releasing different types of particles. The **physics**, chemistry, and biology, **behind** **carbon** **dating** is absolutely fascinating and worth knowing. I’ll outline a few key points below.

C14 *Carbon* *Dating*, not precice ? Please help! *Physics* Forums. But the question is, when does an atom or nucleus decide to decay? So it could either be beta decay, which would release electrons from the neutrons and turn them into protons. And normally when we have any small amount of any element, we really have huge amounts of atoms of that element. That's 6.02 times 10 to the 23rd *carbon*-12 atoms. This is more than we can, than my head can really grasp around how large of a number this is. The soundness of the science *behind* *carbon* *dating* has not been seriously challenged for, I would guess, over 50 years. Please help! Rocket's maximum heht Replies 3. Explain to me the the *physics* *behind* this picture?.

*Carbon*-14 *Dating* Let's say I have a bunch of, let's say these are all atoms. And let's say we're talking about the type of decay where an atom turns into another atom. Or maybe positron emission turning protons into neutrons. And we've talked about moles and, you know, one gram of **carbon**-12-- I'm sorry, 12 grams-- 12 grams of **carbon**-12 has one mole of **carbon**-12 in it. Most everyone has heard of **Carbon** **dating** on the news or elsewhere sometime in the past years. Ever wonder what “**Carbon** **dating**” means and why it is so important? In this article I hope to explain the theoretical and physical science **behind** **Carbon** **dating**.

*Dating* a Fossil - How *Carbon*-14 *Dating* Works HowStuffWorks So you mht get a question like, I start with, oh I don't know, let's say I start with 80 grams of something with, let's just it x, and it has a half-life of two years. *Dating* a Fossil - *Carbon* *dating* compares the ratio of *carbon*-12 to *carbon*-14 atoms in an organism. Learn about *carbon* *dating* and find out what the *carbon*-14.

*Carbon* *Dating* - HyperPhysics Concepts So what we do is we come up with terms that help us get our head around this. So I wrote a decay reaction rht here, where you have **carbon**-14. So now you have, after one half-life-- So let's nore this. I don't know which half, but half of them will turn into it. And then let's say we go into a time machine and we look back at our sample, and let's say we only have 10 grams of our sample left. *Carbon* *dating* is a variety of radioactive *dating* which is applicable only to matter which was once living and presumed to be in equilibrium with the atmosphere.

BBC - GCSE Bitesize *Carbon* *dating* Now you could say, OK, what's the probability of any given molecule reacting in one second? But we're used to dealing with things on the macro level, on dealing with, you know, huge amounts of atoms. So I have a description, and we're going to hopefully get an intuition of what half-life means. And how does this half know that it must stay as **carbon**? So if you go back after a half-life, half of the atoms will now be nitrogen. Then all of a sudden you can use the law of large numbers and say, OK, on average, if each of those atoms must have had a 50% chance, and if I have gazillions of them, half of them will have turned into nitrogen. How much time, you know, x is decaying the whole time, how much time has passed? A secondary school revision resource for OCR Gateway Additional GCSE Science about radiation and uses of radioisotopes.

How is **carbon** **dating** done? I mean, maybe if we really got in detail on the confurations of the nucleus, maybe we could get a little bit better in terms of our probabilities, but we don't know what's going on inside of the nucleus, so all we can do is ascribe some probabilities to something reacting. And it does that by releasing an electron, which is also a beta particle. And I've actually seen this drawn this way in some chemistry classes or *physics* classes, and my immediate question is how does this half know that it must turn into nitrogen? So that after 5,740 years, the half-life of *carbon*, a 50% chance that any of the guys that are *carbon* will turn to nitrogen. But we'll always have an infinitesimal amount of *carbon*. Let's say I'm just staring at one *carbon* atom. You know, I've got its nucleus, with its c-14. I mean, if you start approaching, you know, Avogadro's number or anything larger-- I erased that. After two years, how much are we going to have left? And then after two more years, I'll only have half of that left again. This is the basic idea **behind** **carbon** **dating**. Since **physics** can't predict exactly when a given atom will decay, we rely on statistical methods in dealing with radioactivity, and while this is an excellent method for a bazillion atoms, it fails when we don't have good sample sizes.