Calculating age using carbon dating

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Although the half-life of some of them are more consistent with the evolutionary worldview of millions to billions of years, the assumptions used in radiometric dating put the results of all radiometric dating methods in doubt. Although the half-life of carbon-14 makes it unreliable for dating fossils over about 50,000 years old, there are other isotopes scientists use to date older artifacts.These isotopes have longer half-lives and so are found in greater abundance in older fossils.Scientists now realize that production of carbon-14 has not been constant over the years, but has changed as the radiation from the sun has fluctuated.

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Carbon-14 cannot be used to date biological artifacts of organisms that did not get their carbon dioxide from the air.Animals eat the plants so they too have carbon-14 in their tissues.Carbon-14 is decaying constantly with a half-life of 5720 years.It has been determined that the rate of radioactive decay is first order.We can apply our knowledge of first order kinetics to radioactive decay to determine rate constants, original and remaining amounts of radioisotopes, half-lives of the radioisotopes, and apply this knowledge to the dating of archeological artifacts through a process known as carbon-14 dating.

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