Problem: If a fossil bone is found to contain an eighth as much as C-14 as the bone of a living animal, what is the approximate age of the fossil? (Half-life of C-14 = 5715 years)

FREE Expert Solution

We’re being asked to determine the age of the fossil containing an eighth as much carbon-14 of a living animal.


Recall that radioactive/nuclear decay of isotopes follows first-order kinetics, and the integrated rate law for first-order reactions is:


lnNt=-kt+lnN0


where:

[N]t = concentration at time t

k = decay constant

t = time

[N]0 = initial concentration. 


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Problem Details

If a fossil bone is found to contain an eighth as much as C-14 as the bone of a living animal, what is the approximate age of the fossil? (Half-life of C-14 = 5715 years)

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What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the First Order Half Life concept. You can view video lessons to learn First Order Half Life. Or if you need more First Order Half Life practice, you can also practice First Order Half Life practice problems.