15.4 Kinetics of Nuclear Decay

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Chad's High School Chemistry Master Course

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1st Order Kinetics - Nuclear Decay

Nuclear decay is always 1st order

N = N0e-kt                                            lnN = lnN0 – kt


Half-life calculations can be calculated in terms of fractions, percents, masses, or activities.

half life 01

Radiocarbon Dating

-Used to date objects that were once living and are less than ~50,000 years old.
-Based on the decay of 14C by β-emission which has a half-life of ~5730 years.

The 14C activity of a piece of cloth at an archaeological site is 13.1 disintegrations per minute. If the 14C activity of living organisms is 16.3 disintegrations per minute, what is the approximate age of the piece of cloth?