Carbon dating half life period

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Let's look closely at how the half-life affects an isotope. Therefore, after one half-life, you would have 5 grams of Barium-139, and 5 grams of Lanthanum-139.After another 86 minutes, half of the 5 grams of Barium-139 would decay into Lanthanum-139; you would now have 2.5 grams of Barium-139 and 7.5 grams of Lanthanum-139.It is important to recognize that the intensity or amount of radiation is decreasing due to age but not the penetrating energy of the radiation.

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.

Scientists know the half-life of C-14 (5,730 years), so they can figure out how long ago the organism died.

Carbon-14 dating can only be used to determine the age of something that was once alive.

Plants absorb C-14 during photosynthesis, so C-14 is incorporated into the cellular structure of plants.

Plants are then eaten by animals, making C-14 a part of the cellular structure of all living things.

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