Chemistry for Kids: Radioactivity and Radiation
Carbon Dating - Learn about carbon dating and how it is used to estimate the age of For more such interesting chemistry articles and videos, visit. Radiometric dating (often called radioactive dating) is a way to find out how old something is. The method compares the amount of a naturally. Interesting facts about radioactive dating. Understand at encyclopedia. Kids learn about radioactive dating, who have life and radiation in rocks. How much you.
- How Do Scientists Date Ancient Things?
- What is Carbon Dating?
This is particularly important for very old samples. Because of this, radiocarbon chemists are continually developing new methods to more effectively clean materials. These new techniques can have a dramatic effect on chronologies. With the development of a new method of cleaning charcoal called ABOx-SCMichael Bird helped to push back the date of arrival of the first humans in Australia by more than 10, years. Establishing dates Moving away from techniques, the most exciting thing about radiocarbon is what it reveals about our past and the world we live in.
Radiocarbon dating was the first method that allowed archaeologists to place what they found in chronological order without the need for written records or coins.
What is Carbon Dating? - Chemistry for Kids | Mocomi
In the 19th and early 20th century incredibly patient and careful archaeologists would link pottery and stone tools in different geographical areas by similarities in shape and patterning. Then, by using the idea that the styles of objects evolve, becoming increasing elaborate over time, they could place them in order relative to each other - a technique called seriation.
In this way large domed tombs known as tholos or beehive tombs in Greece were thought to predate similar structures in the Scottish Island of Maeshowe. This supported the idea that the classical worlds of Greece and Rome were at the centre of all innovations. Some of the first radiocarbon dates produced showed that the Scottish tombs were thousands of years older than those in Greece.
The barbarians of the north were capable of designing complex structures similar to those in the classical world. Other high profile projects include the dating of the Turin Shroud to the medieval period, the dating of the Dead Sea Scrolls to around the time of Christ, and the somewhat controversial dating of the spectacular rock art at Chauvet Cave to c.
Radiocarbon dating has also been used to date the extinction of the woolly mammoth and contributed to the debate over whether modern humans and Neanderthals met.
But 14C is not just used in dating. Using the same techniques to measure 14C content, we can examine ocean circulation and trace the movement of drugs around the body. How carbon dating works? There are some carbon particles in the atmosphere.
The highest rate of carbon production takes place at altitudes of 9 to 15 km 30, to 50, ft. At high geomagnetic latitudes, the carbon spreads evenly throughout the atmosphere and reacts with oxygen to form carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide also permeates the oceansdissolving in the water. Plants take in atmospheric carbon dioxide by photosynthesis, and are ingested by animals. So, every living thing is constantly exchanging carbon with its environment as long as it lives.
Once a being dies, however, this exchange stops. The carbon in its body will remain until it decomposes or fossilizes. Some of the atoms may decay right away, while others will not decay for many thousands more years. The thing to remember about half-life is that it is a probability.
In the example above, atoms are "expected" to decay. This is not a guarantee for one specific sample. It is just what will happen on average over the course of billions and billions of atoms. Radioactive Decay to other Elements When isotopes decay they can lose some of their atomic particles i.
Sometimes isotopes decay from one unstable isotope into another unstable isotope. This can happen continuously in a long radioactive chain.
An example of a radioactive chain is uranium As it decays, it transforms through a number of elements including thorium, radium, francium, radon, polonium, and bismuth. It finally ends up as a stable isotope as the element lead. Why is radiation dangerous?
How Do Scientists Date Ancient Things?
Radiation can alter the structure of cells in our bodies causing mutations which can produce cancer. The more radiation a person is exposed to, the more dangerous it is. Is some radiation good? Despite the risks, there are a number of good ways that science has used radiation.