Half life of carbon dating

Half-life is defined as the time it takes for one-half of a radioactive element to decay into a daughter isotope.

As radioactive isotopes of elements decay, they lose their radioactivity and become a brand new element known as a daughter isotope.

This technique relies on the property of half-life.

Let's say you found a fossil you think to be a human skeleton.

The best radioactive element to use to date human fossils is Carbon-14.

Different isotopes have different half-lives and sometimes more than one present isotope can be used to get an even more specific age of a fossil.

Below is a chart of commonly used radiometric isotopes, their half-lives, and the daughter isotopes they decay into.

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