Carbon-14 is radioactive and undergoes radioactive decay.
Radioactive materials contain some nuclei that are stable and other nuclei that are unstable.
Scientists use a technique called radiometric dating to estimate the ages of rocks, fossils, and the earth.
Many people have been led to believe that radiometric dating methods have proved the earth to be billions of years old.
Atoms are made up of much smaller particles called protons, neutrons, and electrons.
Students should begin to see the pattern that each time they “take a half-life,” about half of the surrogate radioactive material becomes stable.
Students then should be able to see the connection between the M&M’s and Puzzle Pieces and radioactive elements in archaeological samples.
Carbon-14 has a half-life of 5730 years, which means that if you take one gram of carbon-14, half of it will decay in 5730 years. The ratio of the amounts of carbon-12 to carbon-14 in a human is the same as in every other living thing.
After death, the carbon-14 decays and is not replaced.
Not all of the atoms of a radioactive isotope (radioisotope) decay at the same time.