Atomic accelerator carbon dating


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Archeologists and geologists use half-life to date the age of organic objects in a process known as carbon dating. At the time of death organisms stop producing carbon 14.

Since half life is a constant, the ratio of carbon 14 to nitrogen 14 provides a measurement of the age of a sample.

After two half-lives, the mother substance will decay another 50%, leaving 25% mother and 75% daughter.

A third half-life will leave 12.5% of the mother and 87.5% daughter.

The detector, therefore, counts only the carbon-14 atoms within the sample.