Protons in carbon 14 dating

If you are fairly sure the material has not been contaminated with Carbon compounds that are older or newer, then you can get an approximate date for the artifact. If you find a bit of bone that dates to 30,000 yrs.BP, in strata known by other methods to be only 10,000 yrs.Physicists have discovered the reasons behind the unexpectedly slow decay of carbon-14.

The radiocarbon method is applied in many different scientific fields, including archeology, geology, oceanography, hydrology, atmospheric science, and paleoclimatology.

For his leadership, Libby received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1960.

Why, exactly, does carbon-14 have a half-life of nearly 6,000 years while other light atomic nuclei have half-lives of minutes or seconds?

(Half-life is the time it takes for the nuclei in a sample to decay to half the original amount.) "This has been a very significant puzzle to nuclear physicists for several decades," said James Vary, an Iowa State University professor of physics and astronomy.

Understanding the decay of carbon-14 could also help researchers unravel other mysteries of matter.

Iowa State University physicists, left to right, Pieter Maris and James Vary have used supercomputing power to solve the puzzle of the long, slow decay of carbon-14.

The least stable isotope is 8C, with a half-life of 2.0 x 10−21 s.

The radiocarbon dating method was developed in the 1940's by Willard F.

An isotope is an element with the same “atomic number” (number of protons) , but a different “atomic weight” ( protons neutrons electrons.) Some isotopes are stable, which means they don't change over time ( well…

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