Carbon dating science fair project

19-Feb-2020 00:11 by 2 Comments

Carbon dating science fair project

This technique works well for materials up to around 50,000 years old.

Students use M&M’s (or pennies and puzzle pieces) to demonstrate the idea of radioactive decay.The half-life is the time required for half of the original sample of radioactive nuclei to decay.For example, if you start off with 1000 radioactive nuclei with a half-life of 10 days, you would have 500 left after 10 days; you would have 250 left after 20 days (2 half-lives); and so on.It is a great introduction to the scientific process of deducing, forming scientific theories, and communicating with peers.It is also useful in the mathematics classroom by the process of graphing the data. Radiocarbon decays slowly in a living organism, and the amount lost is continually replenished as long as the organism takes in air or food.

Once the organism dies, however, it ceases to absorb carbon-14, so that the amount of the radiocarbon in its tissues steadily decreases.

Ever wondered how scientists know the age of old bones in an ancient site or how old a scrap of linen is?

The technique used is called carbon dating and in this lesson we will learn what this is and how it is used. Carbon dating, or radiocarbon dating, is a method used to date materials that once exchanged carbon dioxide with the atmosphere. In the late 1940s, an American physical chemist named Willard Libby first developed a method to measure radioactivity of carbon-14, a radioactive isotope.

Description: With the Half-Life Laboratory, students gain a better understanding of radioactive dating and half-lives.

Students are able to visualize and model what is meant by the half-life of a reaction.

The second lesson, Radioactive Decay: A Sweet Simulation of Half-life, introduces the idea of half-life.

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