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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).
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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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