Half life carbon dating example

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It is naturally unstable and so it will spontaneously decay back into N-14 after a period of time.It takes about 5,730 years for half of a sample of radiocarbon to decay back into nitrogen.

We have to assume, for example, that the rate of decay (that is, a 5,730 year half-life) has remained constant throughout the unobservable past.C-14 is produced in the upper atmosphere when nitrogen-14 (N-14) is altered through the effects of cosmic radiation bombardment (a proton is displaced by a neutron effectively changing the nitrogen atom into a carbon isotope).The new isotope is called "radiocarbon" because it is radioactive, though it is not dangerous.Willard Libby (1908–1980), a professor of chemistry at the University of Chicago, began the research that led him to radiocarbon dating in 1945.He was inspired by physicist Serge Korff (1906–1989) of New York University, who in 1939 discovered that neutrons were produced during the bombardment of the atmosphere by cosmic rays.

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