Half life radioactive fossil dating
For biological objects older than 50,000 years, scientists use radioactive dating to determine the age of rocks surrounding where the material was found.By dating rocks, scientists can approximate ages of very old fossils, bones and teeth.Not only does it decay by giving off energy and matter, but it also decays at a rate that is characteristic to itself.
The half-lives of certain types of radioisotopes are very useful to know.The ratio of the original isotope and its decay product determines how many half-lives have occurred since the sample formed.A half-life measures the time it takes for one half of a radio isotope's atoms to break down into another element.The term 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.
By determining how much of the carbon-14 has transmutated, scientist can calculate and estimate the age of a substance. Isotopes with longer half-lives such as Uranium-238 can be used to date even older objects.