# How to solve radioactive dating problems

This is particularly important in light of the Biblical flood.How a rock is formed is important to understanding its isotopic make-up and any dates derived.The isotopic make-up of original material is important, as is mixing of magma with surrounding material.

Furthermore, the same method can produce different ages on different parts of the same rock.

Sometimes these are close but other times they are very different.

Quick cooling or not having contact with the air can affect theoretical mechanisms for "resetting" the clock.

Some times radiometric dating produces impossible results.

Although there is no way for us to predict exactly when any one nucleus will decay, we can write down an expression for the total number of unstable nuclei that remain after a time : , where is known as the The decay of radioactive nuclei can be used to measure the age of artifacts, fossils, and rocks. To find the age of an organic artifact, you measure how much is found within it today [i.e., ], and you estimate how much would have been in it when it was first made ().

Dating an organic artifact entails looking at its carbon content. Knowing that the half-life of is 5730 , you can use the decay equation to find out how old the artifact is.

To make the problem easy, assume 100 grams for the original mass.

Learning Goal: To understand decay in terms of half-life and to solve radioactive dating problems.

(You shouldn't need to plug into it at all for this problem.)PART A: N = No e - λ t N = No / 2 when t = thalf plug in to get No / 2 = No e - λ thalf The factors of No cancel out in the above step to give 1/2 = e - λ thalf now take ln of each side to get ln (1/2) = ln e - λ thalf using the rule for logs on the ...

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