Radiometric age dating worksheet

The half-life of carbon-14 is 5730 years; therefore, it will take 5730 years for half of the carbon-14 atoms to decay to nitrogen-14.

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We may find it convenient to use exponential form in this exercise. The following equation represents the fraction of original radioactive element remaining in an object.

In the first two columns below transfer your data from the previous table starting with the 1st half-life. What relationship do you see between the number of half-lives which have passed and the exponent used to express the fraction of heads remaining using exponential form? If I asked you what fraction of an element would be left after 5 half-lives could you come up with the answer using the information you have gathered above? What does the letter “x” stand for in this equation (think about your answer to number 1 above)?

This 9-12-grade activity introduces students to age dating with exercises using relative and absolute dating. Links to various activities and lesson plans concerning relative and absolute dating. Content information about absolute and relative dating methods used by the U.

The idea of radioactive decay and half lives, a type of absolute dating, is shown through an activity using M&M's candy and graph paper. Sequencing Time, University of California, Berkeley. This 5-12-grade activity lets students place parts of their own life story into a time line so that they can better understand how geologic time is reconstructed by scientists.

As time passes, the concentration of parent material in a rock decreases as the concentration of daughter product increases.

A geologist can calculate the absolute age of the rock in a process called radiometric dating by measuring the amount of parent and daughter materials in a rock and by knowing the half-life of the parent material.

It is founded on unprovable assumptions such as 1) there has been no contamination and 2) the decay rate has remained constant.

By dating rocks of known ages which give highly inflated ages, geologists have shown this method can’t give reliable absolute ages.

Many geologists claim that radiometric “clocks” show rocks to be millions of years old.


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