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Knowing this and an estimated amount of carbon-14 in the organism while alive can be used to determine the age of the fossil.

For a website with a simple calculator that computes this for you, see is the half-life of carbon-14 (5,700 years).

Question: How is the amount of C-14 in a fossil determined?

Answer: Since 1 gram of carbon-14 emits 15 beta particles per minute, the mass of carbon-14 in a fossil can be determined by measuring its rate of beta particle emission.

Follow this method and produce your own high quality scientific experiment.

You will invest a lot of time and effort in your project.

So, if you had a fossil that had 10 percent carbon-14 compared to a living sample, then that fossil would be: t = [ ln (0.10) / (-0.693) ] x 5,700 years t = [ (-2.303) / (-0.693) ] x 5,700 years t = [ 3.323 ] x 5,700 years t = 18,940 years old Math Skills Using natural logs (loge or ln): Carrying all numbers to 5 significant figures, ln 30 = 3.4012 is equivalent to e3.4012 = 30 or 2.71833.4012 = 30 A formula to calculate how old a sample is by carbon-14 dating is: t = [ ln (Nf/No) / (-0.693) ] x t1/2 where ln is the natural logarithm, Nf/No is the percent of carbon-14 in the sample compared to the amount in living tissue, and t1/2 is the half-life of carbon-14 (5,700 years).

from Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey and Delaware, make new discoveries that could change their lives forever as they participate in the Delaware Valley Science Fairs (DVSF).

Some radioactive isotopes decay very rapidly, in fractions of a second, while others might take hundreds of thousands or even millions of years. Answer: Scientists determine the age of a fossil by determining the amount of Carbon -14 that has decayed since the organism died and was buried in the ground.

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