Radioactive dating gcse revision

Radiation is used in industry in detectors that monitor and control the thickness of materials such as paper, plastic and aluminium.The thicker the material, the more radiation is absorbed and the less radiation reaches the detector.By comparing how much carbon-14 there is in the dead organism with the amount in a living one, the age of the dead organism can be estimated.The half-life of uranium-238 is 4500 million years.

The amount of carbon-14 in the wood decreases with time as it decays into nitrogen with a half-life of about 5700 years.

Although the method is suited to a variety of organic materials, accuracy depends on the half-life to be used, variations in levels of atmospheric carbon-14, and contamination.

(The half-life of radiocarbon was redefined from 5,570 ± 30 years to 5,730 ± 40 years in 1962, so some dates determined earlier required adjustment; and due to radioactivity more recently introduced into the atmosphere, radiocarbon dates are calculated from 1950.) The radiocarbon timescale also contains other uncertainties, and errors as great as 2,000 to 5,000 years may occur.

Although this may be successful, there are often unpleasant side effects such as nausea and hair loss.

Patients are usually treated in the supine position (lying on their backs).

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There is however a set probability of radioactive decaying during any given second, when you get down to it Nuclear Physics does come down to probabilities, (that's Heisenburg's uncertainty principle and Schrodinger's Cat analogy is all about.) But I digress. So although we can never know when or which nuclei will decay if we know how many there are then we can predict how many will decay in any given time.

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