Carbon dating and logarithms
How Stuff Works videos website Yes, I know the clothes are a bit out-dated, but this video provides a great visual of the logarithmic scale, shows example problems being solved step-by-step, and talks about actual use of the Richter scale.Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience, University of California, Berkeley Scroll down to the heading "Sound intensity - the decibel scale." This gives a good background and description of why logarithms were chosen.IONCMASTE (Imperial Oil National Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education This is a great visual example of the brightness of stars of different magnitudes. This website explains what carbon dating is, what it is used for, and how it works.It shows the formula used and gives a sample problem.However, the principle of carbon-14 dating applies to other isotopes as well.Potassium-40 is another radioactive element naturally found in your body and has a half-life of 1.3 billion years.Click on the three links at the top of the page to see a list of magnitudes, a visual picture of the Richter scale, and comparing the Richter scale to the Mercalli scale.
Anything that dies after the 1940s, when Nuclear bombs, nuclear reactors and open-air nuclear tests started changing things, will be harder to date precisely.The stable form of carbon is carbon 12 and the radioactive isotope carbon 14 decays over time into nitrogen 14 and other particles.Carbon is naturally in all living organisms and is replenished in the tissues by eating other organisms or by breathing air that contains carbon. As soon as a living organism dies, it stops taking in new carbon.The ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-14 at the moment of death is the same as every other living thing, but the carbon-14 decays and is not replaced.