After this reading this section you will be able to do the following: As we have mentioned before each radioactive isotope has its own decay pattern. Not only does it decay by giving off energy and matter, but it also decays at a rate that is characteristic to itself. The rate at which a radioactive isotope decays is measured in half-life. The uses of half life in carbon dating half-life is defined as the time it takes for one-half of the atoms of a radioactive material to disintegrate.
Half-lives for various radioisotopes can range from a few microseconds to billions of years. See the table below for a list of radioisotopes and each of unique their half-lives. How does the half-life affect an isotope? Let's look closely at how the half-life affects an isotope. Suppose you have 10 grams of Barium It has a half-life of 86 minutes.
After 86 minutes, half of the atoms in the sample would have decayed into another element, Lanthanum Therefore, after one half-life, you would have 5 grams of Barium, and 5 grams of Lanthanum After another 86 minutes, half of the 5 grams of Barium would decay into Lanthanum; you would now have 2. How is half-life information used in carbon dating? The half-lives of certain types of radioisotopes are very useful to know.
They allow us to determine the ages of very old artifacts. Scientists can use the half-life of Carbon to determine the approximate age of organic objects less than 40, years old. By determining how much of the carbon has transmutated, scientist can calculate and estimate the age of a substance. This technique is known as Carbon dating. Isotopes with longer half-lives such as Uranium can be used to date even older objects. In the field of nondestructive testing radiographers people who produce radiographs to inspect objects also use half-life information.
A radiographer who works uses of half life in carbon dating radioisotopes needs to know the specific half-life to properly determine how much radiation the source in the camera is producing so that the film can be exposed properly. After one half-life of a given radioisotope, only one half as much of the original number of atoms remains active. Another way to look at this is that if the radiation intensity is cut in half; the source will have only half as many curies as it originally had.
It is important to recognize that the intensity or amount of radiation is decreasing due to age but not the scorpio male dating pisces female energy of uses of half life in carbon dating radiation. The energy of the radiation for a given isotope is considered to be constant for the life of the isotope. Intro to NDT Pres. Home - Education Resources uses of half life in carbon dating Science of NDT - Radiography.
Partial support for this work was provided by the NSF-ATE Advanced Technological Education program through grant DUE Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the National Science Foundation. X-Rays Introduction Radiographs and Photographs The Discovery of Radioactivity The Discovery of X-Rays The Discovery of Radioactive Elements The Curies Atoms and Elements Chemical Formula Subatomic Particles Atomic and Mass Numbers Electrons Stable and Unstable Atoms Radioactivity and Radioisotopes Radioactive Decay Nuclear Reactions Radioactive Half-life I Radioactive Half-life II Carbon Dating X-Ray Generation Characteristics of Radiation Interaction with Matter Ionization Depth of Penetration and Radiation Energy Radiation Sources X-Ray Generators High Energy Radiation Systems Detecting and Measuring Uses of Radiation Making a Radiograph Developing Film.
Describe carbon dating and how half-life information is used. Explain how a radiographer uses half-life information.