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.

Libby and others (University of Chicago) devised a method of estimating the age of organic material based on the decay rate of carbon-14.

Carbon-14 is produced in the atmosphere when neutrons from cosmic radiation react with nitrogen atoms: C ratio of 0.795 times that found in plants living today. Solution The half-life of carbon-14 is known to be 5720 years. Radioactive decay is a first order rate process, which means the reaction proceeds according to the following equation: is the quantity of radioactive material at time zero, X is the amount remaining after time t, and k is the first order rate constant, which is a characteristic of the isotope undergoing decay.

(DIC: measured, carb: carbonate dissolved (0‰), soil: soil air (-23‰) this simple model is also only strictly valid for closed conditions and does not take into account fractionation effects (low p H environments) more complex models taking into account the chemical and isotopic evolution have been developed (e.g.

It has been determined that the rate of radioactive decay is first order.

So given that the half-life of carbon-14 is 5730 years, consider a sample of fossilized wood that, when alive would have contained 24 g of carbon-14.

Because during each half-life, carbon loses half of its weight.

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We can apply our knowledge of first order kinetics to radioactive decay to determine rate constants, original and remaining amounts of radioisotopes, half-lives of the radioisotopes, and apply this knowledge to the dating of archeological artifacts through a process known as carbon-14 dating.

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