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Nuclear reaction leading to formation of C^14 ?

  1. Feb 14, 2010 #1
    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. jcsd
  3. Feb 14, 2010 #2

    Astronuc

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    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.
     
  4. Feb 14, 2010 #3
    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.
     
  5. Feb 14, 2010 #4
    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.
     
  6. Feb 14, 2010 #5

    Astronuc

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    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?
     
  7. Feb 14, 2010 #6
    Re: Nuclear reaction leading to formation of C^14 ???

    1n + 14N [tex]\rightarrow[/tex] 14C + 1H
    Via Cosmic rays.

    Then,

    14C [tex]\rightarrow[/tex] 14N + e- + [tex]\bar{\nu_e}[/tex]

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