# Carbon dating and half life calculations

The half-lives of several isotopes are listed in In our earlier discussion, we used the half-life of a first-order reaction to calculate how long the reaction had been occurring.Because nuclear decay reactions follow first-order kinetics and have a rate constant that is independent of temperature and the chemical or physical environment, we can perform similar calculations using the half-lives of isotopes to estimate the ages of geological and archaeological artifacts.This is not true for zeroth- and second-order reactions.The half-life of a first-order reaction is independent of the concentration of the reactants. Because during each half-life, carbon loses half of its weight. HALF LIFE IS THE AMOUNT OF TIME IT TAKES FOR ONE HALF OF THE RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL TO DECAY INTO A STABLE FORM.The techniques that have been developed for this application are known as radioisotope dating techniques.The most common method for measuring the age of ancient objects is carbon-14 dating.

When we die, we no longer ingest C14, and it begins to decay and turn into N14.Another approach to describing reaction rates is based on the time required for the concentration of a reactant to decrease to one-half its initial value.This period of time is called the half-life of the reaction, written as .BEFORE DECAY BEGINS, ALL OF THE MATERIAL IS RADIOACTIVEAFTER ONE HALF LIFE, HALF OF THE SAMPLE REMAINS RADIOACTIVE AND THE OTHER HALF IS STABLEAFTER EACH ADDITIONAL HALF LIFE, HALF OF THE REMAINING RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL DECAYSWe use several radioactive isotopes to find the absolute age of events and objects because we know their half life.On the cover of your ESRT in the top left box you will find the Radioactive Decay Data for four isotopes which we will focus on.