Carbon dating in chemistry

It takes a certain amount of time for half the atoms in a sample to decay.It then takes the same amount of time for half the remaining radioactive atoms to decay, and the same amount of time for half of those remaining radioactive atoms to decay, and so on. The amount of time it takes for one-half of a sample to decay is called the half-life of the isotope, and it’s given the symbol: It’s important to realize that the half-life decay of radioactive isotopes is not linear. So what we do is we come up with terms that help us get our head around this. So I wrote a decay reaction right here, where you have carbon-14. So now you have, after one half-life-- So let's ignore this. I don't know which half, but half of them will turn into it. And then let's say we go into a time machine and we look back at our sample, and let's say we only have 10 grams of our sample left. Now you could say, OK, what's the probability of any given molecule reacting in one second? But we're used to dealing with things on the macro level, on dealing with, you know, huge amounts of atoms. So I have a description, and we're going to hopefully get an intuition of what half-life means. And how does this half know that it must stay as carbon? So if you go back after a half-life, half of the atoms will now be nitrogen. Then all of a sudden you can use the law of large numbers and say, OK, on average, if each of those atoms must have had a 50% chance, and if I have gazillions of them, half of them will have turned into nitrogen. How much time, you know, x is decaying the whole time, how much time has passed? If you could watch a single atom of a radioactive isotope, U-238, for example, you wouldn’t be able to predict when that particular atom might decay.It might take a millisecond, or it might take a century. But if you have a large enough sample, a pattern begins to emerge. And maybe not carbon-12, maybe we're talking about carbon-14 or something. And then nothing happens for a long time, a long time, and all of a sudden two more guys decay. And the atomic number defines the carbon, because it has six protons. If they say that it's half-life is 5,740 years, that means that if on day one we start off with 10 grams of pure carbon-14, after 5,740 years, half of this will have turned into nitrogen-14, by beta decay. What happens over that 5,740 years is that, probabilistically, some of these guys just start turning into nitrogen randomly, at random points. So if we go to another half-life, if we go another half-life from there, I had five grams of carbon-14. So now we have seven and a half grams of nitrogen-14. This exact atom, you just know that it had a 50% chance of turning into a nitrogen.

His method has obtained widespread use and has become indispensable in archaeology, geology, geophysics and other sciences.

It is formed high up in the atmosphere by cosmic radiation coming from outer space. The newly formed carbon-14 has high energy at the moment of its formation, so that it rapidly oxidizes to carbon dioxide, which spreads out and distributes itself evenly in the atmosphere.

The ratio of carbon-14 in the carbon dioxide of the atmosphere is very low.

Fortunately, it is so simple - which is probably not always the case with chemical research distinguished with the Nobel Prize - that everyone should be able to understand the conditions and principles for its execution.

Carbon-14 is a kind of carbon, an isotope of carbon with an atomic weight of 14, which is found in the carbon dioxide of the air.

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SAL: In the last video we saw all sorts of different types of isotopes of atoms experiencing radioactive decay and turning into other atoms or releasing different types of particles.

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