# Maximum dating age equation

Each radioactive isotope will have its own unique half-life that is independent of any of these factors.

The only thing we know is that in the time of that substance's half-life, half of the original nuclei will disintegrate.

Although chemical changes were sped up or slowed down by changing factors such as temperature, concentration, etc, these factors have no effect on half-life.

For example, if there were \(100 \: \text\) of \(\ce\)-251 in a sample at some time, after 800 years, there would be \(50 \: \text\) of \(\ce\)-251 remaining and after another 800 years (1600 years total), there would only be \(25 \: \text\) remaining.

Remember, the half-life is the time it takes for half of your sample, no matter how much you have, to remain.

Figure \(\Page Index\): Along with stable carbon-12, radioactive carbon-14 is taken in by plants and animals, and remains at a constant level within them while they are alive.

After death, the C-14 decays and the C-14: C-12 ratio in the remains decreases. For example, a sample can be C-14 dating if it is approximately 100 to 50,000 years old.

Knowing how an element decays (alpha, beta, gamma) can allow a person to shield their body appropriately from excess radiation.

The quantity of radioactive nuclei at any given time will decrease to half as much in one half-life.

As time goes by, the ratio of carbon-14 to carbon-12 in the organism gradually declines, because carbon-14 radioactively decays while carbon-12 is stable.

Analysis of this ratio allows archaeologists to estimate the age of organisms that were alive many thousands of years ago.

Using the equation below, we can determine how much of the original isotope remains after a certain interval of time.

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