Half life and carbon 14 dating

C at all if they really were over a billion years old, yet the radiocarbon lab reported that there was over 10 times the detection limit.Thus they had a radiocarbon ‘age’ far less than a million years!A decay, also known as a disintegration of a radioactive nuclide, entails a change from an unstable combination of neutrons and protons in the nucleus to a stable (or more stable) combination. Radioactive atoms decay principally by alpha decay, negative beta emission, positron emission, and electron capture.The type of decay determines whether the ratio of neutrons to protons will increase or decrease to reach a more stable configuration. How does the neutron-to-proton number change for each of these decay types?Think of it like a teaspoon of cocoa mixed into a cake dough—after a while, the ‘ratio’ of cocoa to flour particles would be roughly the same no matter which part of the cake you sampled.The fact that the C doesn’t matter in a living thing—because it is constantly exchanging carbon with its surroundings, the ‘mixture’ will be the same as in the atmosphere and in all living things.We will deal with carbon dating first and then with the other dating methods.Carbon has unique properties that are essential for life on Earth.

People wonder how millions of years could be squeezed into the biblical account of history. Christians, by definition, take the statements of Jesus Christ seriously.Alpha decay typically occurs in nuclei that are so big that they can’t be stable.In alpha decay, the nucleus ejects a helium nucleus (alpha particle) composed of two neutrons and two protons, dropping the mass of the original nucleus by four mass units.This smaller nucleus is easier to keep in a stable form. In negative beta decay, the nucleus contains an excess of neutrons.To correct this unstable condition, a neutron is converted into a proton, which keeps the nucleus the same size (i.e., the same atomic mass) but increases the number of protons (and therefore the atomic number) by one.

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The article is in straightforward language and the non-technical reader could profitably work through it.

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