Radiocarbon Dating: % of C-14 Remaining in 41,000 Yr Sample

  • Thread starter Nope
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In summary, the practical limit for radiocarbon dating is 41000 years. In a 41000 year old sample, the amount of original carbon-14 remaining can be determined by finding the percentage of N/No, which represents the initial amount of carbon-14. The half life for carbon-14 is approximately 5700 years.
  • #1
Nope
100
0

Homework Statement


The practical limit to ages that can be determined by radiocarbon dating is about 41000 yr. in a 41000 yr old sample, what percentage of the original carbon-14 remains?

Homework Equations



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The Attempt at a Solution


I don't know where to start...
 
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  • #2
Look at the variables in that equation. Which of them do you know, or can find out? And which represent the thing you're trying to find?
 
  • #3
diazona said:
Look at the variables in that equation. Which of them do you know, or can find out? And which represent the thing you're trying to find?

I think t=41000, N/No is what i need?
But how do you determine the half life?
 
Last edited:
  • #4
Look it up. I think you should find something like 5700 years.
 
  • #5
[tex]N_0[/tex] is the initial percentage of carbon-14, so it would be 100. So we need to find what percentage remains.
 
Last edited:
  • #6
I see,ty!
 

Related to Radiocarbon Dating: % of C-14 Remaining in 41,000 Yr Sample

What is radiocarbon dating?

Radiocarbon dating is a scientific method used to determine the age of organic materials by measuring the amount of a radioactive isotope of carbon, known as carbon-14 (C-14), remaining in the sample.

How does radiocarbon dating work?

C-14 is a naturally occurring isotope of carbon that is constantly being formed in the Earth's atmosphere. Plants and animals absorb C-14 through the process of photosynthesis and eating, and when they die, the C-14 begins to decay at a predictable rate. By measuring the amount of C-14 remaining in a sample, scientists can determine how long ago the organism died.

What is the significance of the 41,000 year sample in radiocarbon dating?

The 41,000 year sample is commonly used in radiocarbon dating because it falls within the range of C-14's half-life, which is about 5,730 years. This means that after 41,000 years, only a small fraction (about 0.1%) of the original amount of C-14 will remain in the sample, making it easier to accurately measure and date.

What are the limitations of radiocarbon dating?

Although radiocarbon dating is a widely used and reliable method for dating organic materials, there are a few limitations. It can only be used on organic materials (such as bone, wood, and cloth) and is not effective for dating materials older than about 50,000 years. Additionally, contamination from other sources can affect the accuracy of the results.

How is the percentage of C-14 remaining in a sample determined?

The percentage of C-14 remaining in a sample is determined by measuring the ratio of C-14 to the stable isotope carbon-12 (C-12). This is done through a process called mass spectrometry, which separates the different isotopes based on their mass. By comparing the ratio of C-14 to C-12 in a sample to the ratio in the atmosphere, scientists can calculate the percentage of C-14 that has decayed over time.

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