Radioactive carbon dating game
The accompanying table shows the reduction of a quantity as a function of the number of half-lives elapsed.Simulation of many identical atoms undergoing radioactive decay, starting with either 4 atoms per box (left) or 400 (right).I read the scientific article on the carbon dating done on the Jericho site written by Bruins and Van Der Plicht.
We can apply our knowledge of first order kinetics to radioactive decay to determine rate constants, original and remaining amounts of radioisotopes, half-lives of the radioisotopes, and apply this knowledge to the dating of archeological artifacts through a process known as carbon-14 dating., where r is a measurement of the rate of decay, k is the first order rate constant for the isotope, and N is the amount of radioisotope at the moment when the rate is measured.The rate of decay is often referred to as the activity of the isotope and is often measured in Curies (Ci), one curie = 3.700 x 10" is the initial amount of radioisotope at the beginning of the period, and "k" is the rate constant for the radioisotope being studied.There are two reasons uncalibrated dates must be mentioned: 1) this prevents people from making up any number they please, and 2) it is for the sake of posterity, where future scientists can check the results and apply new ideas of calibration. Radiocarbon dates are affected by many outside factors.The accuracy of the machines is not in question (especially modern ones, which are astoundingly accurate when properly zeroed in). But, any source of old carbon in the ancient environment can affect the amount of C-14 in a sample.
Carbon 14 is continually being created in the Earth's atmosphere by the interaction of nitrogen and gamma rays from outer space.