Is radioactive dating an exact process
Although it may be seen as outdated, many labs still use Libby's half-life in order to stay consistent in publications and calculations within the laboratory.
From the discovery of Carbon-14 to radiocarbon dating of fossils, we can see what an essential role Carbon has played and continues to play in our lives today.
Carbon-14 is first formed when cosmic rays in the atmosphere allow for excess neutrons to be produced, which then react with Nitrogen to produce a constantly replenishing supply of carbon-14 to exchange with organisms.
The equation relating rate constant to half-life for first order kinetics is \[ k = \dfrac \label\] so the rate constant is then \[ k = \dfrac = 1.21 \times 10^ \text^ \label\] and Equation \(\ref\) can be rewritten as \[N_t= N_o e^ \label\] or \[t = \left(\dfrac \right) t_ = 8267 \ln \dfrac = 19035 \log_ \dfrac \;\;\; (\text) \label\] The sample is assumed to have originally had the same (rate of decay) of d/min.g (where d = disintegration).
Using this hypothesis, the initial half-life he determined was 5568 give or take 30 years.
The accuracy of this proposal was proven by dating a piece of wood from an Ancient Egyptian barge, of whose age was already known.
In 1960, Libby was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for this work.
He demonstrated the accuracy of radiocarbon dating by accurately estimating the age of wood from a series of samples for which the age was known, including an ancient Egyptian royal barge dating from 1850 BCE.