Carbon dating activities
Despite this Carbon Dating, along with where fossils are found, help give us a glimpse into the past and what earth looked liked long before humans.This is just one of the applications of Nuclear Reaction.We know that our Carbon 12 and 13 will be stable (12 year old with 12 books or 13 books), but our Carbon 14 on the other hand will not be stable (12 year old with 14 books) and will begin to break down into Carbon 12 and 13.Because the animal can no longer intake Carbon this can be used to help determine the age of the fossil we are looking at.
Going back to our analogy with the cake, each form of Carbon (ingredients) exist in set ratios.
Even though Carbon has a very long half life, the Earth’s age in comparison is very old.
For some rock there maybe too few Carbon 14 to measure, so other techniques must be used.
Next week we will continue our exploration into Nuclear Reactions looking at how this same break down of unstable atoms has been used to improve peoples lives in medicine.
How do we know the age of dinosaurs or continents is apart of our current Featured Series on Nuclear Reactions where we explore where nuclear reactions are happening, why, and some of their uses.