Half life radioactive dating
In the field of nondestructive testing radiographers (people who produce radiographs to inspect objects) also use half-life information.A radiographer who works with 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.One way that helps scientists place fossils into the correct era on the geologic time scale is by using radiometric dating.Also called absolute dating, scientists use the decay of radioactive elements within the fossils or the rocks around the fossils to determine the age of the organism that was preserved.As radioactive isotopes of elements decay, they lose their radioactivity and become a brand new element known as a daughter isotope.
However, your readout from your radioactivity measuring instrument says you have only 25% Carbon-14 and 75% Nitrogen-14, so your fossil must have been through more than one half-life.
Now it is time to put those math skills to good use.
At one half-life, you would have approximately 50% Carbon-14 and 50% Nitrogen-14.
You would need to have access to scientific instruments at this point that could measure the amount of radioactivity in the sample, so off to the lab we go!
After you prepare your sample and put it into the machine, your readout says you have approximately 75% Nitrogen-14 and 25% Carbon-14.
Perhaps the most widely used evidence for the theory of evolution through natural selection is the fossil record.