However, radioisotope dating may not work so well in the future.

Carbon-14 is produced in the atmosphere when neutrons from cosmic radiation react with nitrogen atoms: C ratio of 0.795 times that found in plants living today. Solution The half-life of carbon-14 is known to be 5720 years. Radioactive decay is a first order rate process, which means the reaction proceeds according to the following equation: is the quantity of radioactive material at time zero, X is the amount remaining after time t, and k is the first order rate constant, which is a characteristic of the isotope undergoing decay.

As you learned in the previous page, carbon dating uses the half-life of Carbon-14 to find the approximate age of certain objects that are 40,000 years old or younger.

Since Nitrogen gas makes up about 78 percent of the Earth's air, by volume, a considerable amount of Carbon-14 is produced.

Archaeologists use the exponential, radioactive decay of carbon 14 to estimate the death dates of organic material.

However, the principle of carbon-14 dating applies to other isotopes as well.