Carbon dating exam questions
The carbon-14 decays, with its half-life of 5,730 years, while the amount of carbon-12 remains constant in the sample.By looking at the ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-14 in the sample and comparing it to the ratio in a living organism, it is possible to determine the age of a formerly living thing.Description: With the Half-Life Laboratory, students gain a better understanding of radioactive dating and half-lives.Students are able to visualize and model what is meant by the half-life of a reaction.Seeing this connection will help students to understand how scientists can determine the age of a sample by looking at the amount of radioactive material in the sample.If two nuclei have different masses, but the same atomic number, those nuclei are considered to be isotopes.Tell students to design their own experiment, using paper, M&M’s®, Pennies, other 2 sided material or Licorice as a radioactive material undergoing decay to discover the nature of the half-life of that material.
It is also useful in the mathematics classroom by the process of graphing the data.
By extension, this experiment is a useful analogy to radioactive decay and carbon dating.
Students use M&M’s (or pennies and puzzle pieces) to demonstrate the idea of radioactive decay.
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