Carbon dating explanation for kids Fuckbuddy kenya
It must be 1 carbon 14 half-life (or 5730 years) old.' This is the basic idea behind carbon dating. In the atmosphere, cosmic rays smash into normal carbon 12 atoms (in atmospheric carbon dioxide), and create carbon 14 isotopes.So in the real world, looking at a sample like say a bone dug up by an archaeologist, how do we know how much carbon 14 we started with? This process is constantly occurring, and has been for a very long time, so there is a fairly constant ratio of carbon 14 atoms to carbon 12 atoms in the atmosphere.Voila, now you can tell how old a sample of organic matter is.Some notes: 1) Obviously, this technique only works for dead organic material.Others measure the subatomic particles that are emitted as an isotope decays.Some measure the decay of isotopes more indirectly.Sedimentary rock is made of particles derived from other rocks, so measuring isotopes would date the original rock material, not the sediments they have ended up in.
Isotopes are important to geologists because each radioactive element decays at a constant rate, which is unique to that element.This means that given a statistically large sample of carbon 14, we know that if we sit it in a box, go away, and come back in 5730 years, half of it will still be carbon 14, and the other half will have decayed.