What would the answer be? The following equation represents the fraction of original radioactive element remaining in an object.

## Exercise On Radiometric Dating | TXESS Revolution

To demonstrate how using the half-lives of isotopes can use radiometric dating to find the age of a rock. The decay of radioactive isotopes is like a clock ticking away, keeping track of the time that has passed since the rock has formed. As time passes, the concentration of parent material in a rock decreases as the concentration of daughter product increases.

A geologist can calculate the absolute age of the rock in a process called radiometric dating by measuring the amount of parent and daughter materials in a rock and by knowing the half-life of the parent material. Carbon is a parent material, which decays to its daughter material, nitrogen The half-life of an isotope is the time it takes for half of the atoms in the isotope to decay. The half-life of carbon is years; therefore, it will take years for half of the carbon atoms to decay to nitrogen Only half of the atoms of carbon remaining after the first years will decay during the second years.

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Therefore, after two half-lives, one-fourth of the original carbon atoms still remains. Half of these carbon atoms will decay during the next years; therefore after three half-lives, one-eighth of the original carbon atoms still remains.

## Activity Instructions > Exercise On Radiometric Dating

Carbon is useful for dating fossils up to 50, years old. Organisms take in carbon from the environment to build tissues.

When the organism dies, some of the carbon decays and escapes as nitrogen gas. By measuring the amount of carbon remaining, the age of the fossil can be determined. Follow the steps listed below to illustrate the radioactive decay of carbon; then answer the questions:. Cut a strip of paper 8 cm long and 2 cm wide. Complete columns 1 and 2 in the table below.

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For example, after one half-life 0. After two half-lives 0.

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Divide the value in column 2 by the value in column 1. Enter the appropriate value in the space provided. Only column 3 will be graded.

The age of a mineral is determined from the number of parent and daughter isotopes it contains. The greater the number of daughter isotopes, the older the mineral.

Ages can be determined using the equation:. Round each answer to the nearest million years - example ,, years would be entered as ; 9,,, years would be entered as What is the half-life of 40 K? Round the answer to the nearest million years - as shown above Using the half-life calculated above, complete the Half-lives Elapsed column in the table.