This rather complex formula shows you how to solve this puzzle using accepted scientific methods.We’re going to see what 'half-life' means and why radioactivity changes with time. It doesn’t depend on the size of the sample and it doesn’t change with time. So we imagine going in forward one half-life at a time from ZERO years: 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, etc.Amateur Radio | |Biology | Books | Chemistry | Data Sheets | Electronics | Math | Microscope | NASA-TV | | Photography | Physics | Radio Astronomy | Robots | Science News | Space-Astronomy | Transistors | Search This Site | The OCR Carbon Dating Home Page Carbon Dating Carbon Dating How accurate are Carbon-14 and other radioactive dating methods? Radiometric Dating BBC - History - Archaeology - Carbon Dating Dating Exhibit How about carbon dating?
We measure the radioactivity of the carbon dioxide in a special chamber to shield it from background radiation. You can use a much smaller sample of the material you want to test if you count the carbon-14 atoms directly rather than having to wait for them to decay.Carbon-14 in living things decays all the time but is replaced by carbon-14 in food. In fact, all living things are rearranged food and NOTHING else.All food ultimately comes from green plants making sugars from carbon dioxide.We can plot a graph of radioactivity against time for our sample that had a half-life of 10 years.We can use our graph to show that it always takes 10 years for the radioactivity to drop by a half regardless of where you are on the graph.It's just that when it's living the carbon-14 is constantly replaced so the overall radioactivity stays constant. We don’t just stick a Geiger counter in front of it and hope for the best.