

It has been determined that the rate of radioactive decay is first order.We can apply our knowledge of first order kinetics to radioactive decay to determine rate constants, original and remaining amounts of radioisotopes, halflives of the radioisotopes, and apply this knowledge to the dating of archeological artifacts through a process known as carbon14 dating., where r is a measurement of the rate of decay, k is the first order rate constant for the isotope, and N is the amount of radioisotope at the moment when the rate is measured.The rate of decay is often referred to as the activity of the isotope and is often measured in Curies (Ci), one curie = 3.700 x 10" is the initial amount of radioisotope at the beginning of the period, and "k" is the rate constant for the radioisotope being studied.


Thereafter, the concentration (fraction) of 14C declines at a fixed exponential rate due to the radioactive decay of 14C. ) Comparing the remaining 14C fraction of a sample to that expected from atmospheric 14C allows us to estimate the age of the sample.Scientists now know that most elements come in more than one version. When the dry periods ended and the water level rose, the trees drowned, marking the end of the droughts.Since then, the remains of those trees have been well preserved by the arid climate. To determine how long ago these droughts occurred, Scott is using carbon14 to date the trees.Unlike the other natural isotopes of carbon, carbon14 is unstable. One of its neutrons turns into a proton and spits out an electron.Now, with seven protons instead of six, it's turned into nitrogen. And scientists know exactly how long it will take for half of any amount of carbon14 to decay away.In the case of radiocarbon dating, the halflife of carbon 14 is 5,730 years.
