What is the purpose of radioactive dating
To demonstrate that the rates of decay of unstable nuclei can be measured, that the exact time that a certain nucleus will decay cannot be predicted, and that it takes a very large number of nuclei to find the rate of decay.
This is the second lesson in a three-lesson series about isotopes, radioactive decay, and the nucleus.
A form of radiometric dating used to determine the age of organic remains in ancient objects, such as archaeological specimens, on the basis of the half-life of carbon-14 and a comparison between the ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-14 in a sample of the remains to the known ratio in living organisms. A technique for measuring the age of organic remains based on the rate of decay of carbon 14.
The carbon 14 present in an organism at the time of its death decays at a steady rate, and so the age of the remains can be calculated from the amount of carbon 14 that is left. The cells of all living things contain carbon atoms that they take in from their environment.
The first lesson, Isotopes of Pennies, introduces the idea of isotopes.