# Nuclear reaction leading to formation of C^14 ?

1. Feb 14, 2010

### hermtm2

Nuclear reaction leading to formation of C^14 ???

Hello.

I've got two questions from the NPRE class. One of them is to estimate how old the certain wook piece contained some amount of C^14 is. I solved it.

The real question is the second one which is
" Write down the nuclear reaction leading to formation of C^14. "

What happen with C^14 related to unclear reaction?

Thanks.

2. Feb 14, 2010

### Astronuc

Staff Emeritus
Re: Nuclear reaction leading to formation of C^14 ???

14C must be formed somehow. It has Z=6, N=8 (6 protons and 8 neutrons).

n-capture by 13C would be one possibility, but there just isn't enough low energy neutrons in nature to produce all the 14C observed.

Think of a nuclear isobar - same atomic mass, but different Z - and think about what nuclear reaction might occur to produce 14C.

3. Feb 14, 2010

### hermtm2

Re: Nuclear reaction leading to formation of C^14 ???

I know how to calculate Q or etc. but I have no idea how to extract the formation of the unclear action. Could you give me a little more hint?

Thanks.

4. Feb 14, 2010

### theCandyman

Re: Nuclear reaction leading to formation of C^14 ???

Are you familiar with the chart of the nuclides, hermtm2? It is a chart that shows all the elements and all isotopes of each element. If you look it up and observe the nuclides around C-14, you should be able to find a common path to it.

5. Feb 14, 2010

### Astronuc

Staff Emeritus
Re: Nuclear reaction leading to formation of C^14 ???

What other stable radionulcides exist with A = 14? What would need to happen in order to transform it to 14C?

6. Feb 14, 2010

### Anti-Meson

Re: Nuclear reaction leading to formation of C^14 ???

1n + 14N $$\rightarrow$$ 14C + 1H
Via Cosmic rays.

Then,

14C $$\rightarrow$$ 14N + e- + $$\bar{\nu_e}$$

Brain, Marshall. "How Carbon-14 is Made" 03 October 2000. HowStuffWorks.com. http://science.howstuffworks.com/carbon-141.htm 14 February 2010.