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As you learned in the previous page, carbon dating uses the half-life of Carbon-14 to find the approximate age of certain objects that are 40,000 years old or younger.

In the following section we are going to go more in-depth about carbon dating in order to help you get a better understanding of how it works.

If the amount of carbon 14 is halved every 5,730 years, it will not take very long to reach an amount that is too small to analyze.

When finding the age of an organic organism we need to consider the half-life of carbon 14 as well as the rate of decay, which is –0.693.

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Since Nitrogen gas makes up about 78 percent of the Earth's air, by volume, a considerable amount of Carbon-14 is produced.Libby and coworkers, and it has provided a way to determine the ages of different materials in archeology, geology, geophysics, and other branches of science.Some examples of the types of material that radiocarbon can determine the ages of are wood, charcoal, marine and freshwater shell, bone and antler, and peat and organic-bearing sediments.Carbon-14 is produced in the atmosphere when neutrons from cosmic radiation react with nitrogen atoms: C ratio of 0.795 times that found in plants living today. Solution The half-life of carbon-14 is known to be 5720 years.​ Radioactive decay is a first order rate process, which means the reaction proceeds according to the following equation: is the quantity of radioactive material at time zero, X is the amount remaining after time t, and k is the first order rate constant, which is a characteristic of the isotope undergoing decay.Archaeologists use the exponential, radioactive decay of carbon 14 to estimate the death dates of organic material.