# Carbon dating lies

The second lesson, Radioactive Decay: A Sweet Simulation of Half-life, introduces the idea of half-life.By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that all matter is made up of atoms, which are far too small to see directly through a microscope.The exercise they will go through of working backwards from measurements to age should help them understand how scientists use *carbon* *dating* to try to determine the age of fossils and other materials.

And so, like everything in chemistry, and a lot of what we're starting to deal with in physics and quantum mechanics, everything is probabilistic. So one of the neutrons must have turned into a proton and that is what happened. And you might say, oh OK, so maybe-- let's see, let me make nitrogen magenta, right there-- so you might say, OK, maybe that half turns into nitrogen. And over 5,740 years, you determine that there's a 50% chance that any one of these **carbon** atoms will turn into a nitrogen atom. And we could keep going further into the future, and after every half-life, 5,740 years, we will have half of the **carbon** that we started. Now, if you look at it over a huge number of atoms. But after two more years, how many are we going to have? So this is t equals 3 I'm sorry, this is t equals 4 years.

For students, understanding the general architecture of the atom and the roles played by the main constituents of the atom in determining the properties of materials now becomes relevant.

Having learned earlier that all the atoms of an element are identical and are different from those of all other elements, students now come up against the idea that, on the contrary, atoms of the same element can differ in important ways. 79.) In this lesson, students will be asked to consider the case of when Frosty the Snowman met his demise (began to melt).

1/2 to the 3rd power, because every time you have 1/2 of the original sample-- that's the number of half-lives-- after three half-lives you'll have 1/8 of your original sample. In the next video we're going to explore what if I asked you a question, how many of the particles, or how many grams will you have in exactly 10 days?

And this is just when you're doing it with a discreet you know, when you're right at the half-life point.

And maybe not **carbon**-12, maybe we're talking about **carbon**-14 or something. And then nothing happens for a long time, a long time, and all of a sudden two more guys decay. And the atomic number defines the **carbon**, because it has six protons. If they say that it's half-life is 5,740 years, that means that if on day one we start off with 10 grams of pure **carbon**-14, after 5,740 years, half of this will have turned into nitrogen-14, by beta decay. What happens over that 5,740 years is that, probabilistically, some of these guys just start turning into nitrogen randomly, at random points. So if we go to another half-life, if we go another half-life from there, I had five grams of **carbon**-14. So now we have seven and a half grams of nitrogen-14. This exact atom, you just know that it had a 50% chance of turning into a nitrogen.

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