Carbon dating exam questions
Radioactive substances will give out radiation all the time, regardless of what happens to them physically or chemically.
We cannot predict exactly which atom will decay at a certain time but we can estimate, using the half-life, how many will decay over a period of time.
The half-life of a substance can be found by measuring the count-rate of the substance with a Geiger-Muller tube over a period of time.
Archaeologists use the exponential, radioactive decay of carbon 14 to estimate the death dates of organic material.
The stable form of carbon is carbon 12 and the radioactive isotope carbon 14 decays over time into nitrogen 14 and other particles.
The old wood is therefore approximately two half-lives old = 11200 years.