Quiz on radioactive dating

PALEONTOLOGY, AND in particular the study of dinosaurs, is an exciting topic to people of all ages.

The study of fossils and the exploration of what they tell scientists about past climates and environments on Earth can be an interesting study for students of all ages.

Teaching about Earth's history is a challenge for all teachers.

Time factors of millions and billions of years is difficult even for adults to comprehend.

However, "relative" dating or time can be an easy concept for students to learn.

He is credited to be the first scientist to suggest that the unstable carbon isotope called radiocarbon or carbon 14 might exist in living matter. Libby and his team of scientists were able to publish a paper summarizing the first detection of radiocarbon in an organic sample. Libby who first measured radiocarbon’s rate of decay and established 5568 years ± 30 years as the half-life. Libby was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in recognition of his efforts to develop radiocarbon dating.

Radiocarbon, or carbon 14, is an isotope of the element carbon that is unstable and weakly radioactive. Carbon 14 is continually being formed in the upper atmosphere by the effect of cosmic ray neutrons on nitrogen 14 atoms.

More than 1,000 radioactive isotopes of the various elements are known.

Approximately 50 of these are found in nature; the rest are produced artificially as the direct products of .

When they die, they stop exchanging carbon with the biosphere and their carbon 14 content then starts to decrease at a rate determined by the law of radioactive decay.

These pages are designed to give you the information you'll need for the Radioactivity topic at GCSE.

And in the aftermath of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan, a nuclear crisis raised fears about radiation and questions about the safety of nuclear power.