Question

The isotope 146C has a half-life of 5,730 years. If a fossil is found to contain...

The isotope 146C has a half-life of 5,730 years. If a fossil is found to contain 1/64th the amount of carbon-14 as is typically found in a living plant or animal, how old is the fossil?

Homework Answers

Answer #1

Half life of the isotope carbon-14 = T1/2 = 5730 years

Decay constant =

= 1.20968 x 10-4 years-1

Amount of carbon-14 found in a living plant or animal = N0

Amount of carbon-14 found in the fossil = N = N0/64

Age of the fossil = T

Taking natural log on both sides,

T = 34380 years

Age of the fossil = 34380 years

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