Carbon dating exponential decay
How am I supposed to figure out what the decay constant is?I can do this by working from the definition of "half-life": in the given amount of time (in this case, hours.the chance that an atom will decay in the next second is unaffected by the fact that it did not decay a second ago.Clearly the number of atoms decaying in one second depends on the number of atoms you start with, but the chance of any individual atom decaying in a given time period is always the same. Libby invented carbon dating for which he received the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1960.The halflife of carbon 14 is 5730 ± 30 years, and the method of dating lies in trying to determine how much carbon 14 (the radioactive isotope of carbon) is present in the artifact and comparing it to levels currently present in the atmosphere.
(Whatever you're being treated for is the greater danger.) The half-life is just long enough for the doctors to have time to take their pictures.
Half-life is defined as the amount of time it takes a given quantity to decrease to half of its initial value.
The term is most commonly used in relation to atoms undergoing radioactive decay, but can be used to describe other types of decay, whether exponential or not.
That's exactly the model we need for radioactive decay since the chance of any particular atom decaying in one second is unaffected by the fact that it did not decay a second ago.
The lab procedure to mimic radioactive decay is simple. Toss the pennies onto a table surface or the floor.