Scientists look at half-life decay rates of radioactive isotopes to estimate when a particular atom might decay. After this reading this section you will be able to do the following :. Carbon is a radioactive isotope of carbon, containing 6 protons and 8 neutrons, that is present in the earth's atmosphere in extremely low concentrations. Half-lifein radioactivitythe interval of time required for one-half of the atomic nuclei of a radioactive sample to decay change spontaneously into other nuclear species by emitting particles and energyor, equivalently, the time interval required for the number of disintegrations per second of a radioactive material to decrease by one-half. Radioactive material gets a bad rap, what with radiation and fallout and nuclear waste and all.
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Radiometric datingradioactive dating or radioisotope dating is a technique which is used to date materials such as rocks or carbonin which trace radioactive impurities were selectively incorporated when they were formed. Radiometric dating, often called radioactive dating, is a technique used to determine the age of materials such as rocks. Generally, there are four main concepts that students struggle with when thinking about radioactive decay:. Video Clips. Another approach to describing reaction rates is based on the time required for the concentration of a reactant to decrease to one-half its initial value.
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