Carbon dating questions
By measuring the ratio of the radio isotope to non-radioactive carbon, the amount of carbon-14 decay can be worked out, thereby giving an age for the specimen in question.
But that assumes that the amount of carbon-14 in the atmosphere was constant — any variation would speed up or slow down the clock.
This is a slide and worksheet for radioactive dating and half life activity.
The Slides are to be shown at the front and then each item is shown in turn and the pupils use their graphs to calculate the age of each item from the percentage of carbon found in them. take longer than you think, but keeps them engaged and there're questions to be answered in their books also.
“If you’re trying to look at archaeological sites at the order of 30,000 or 40,000 years ago, the ages may shift by only a few hundred years but that may be significant in putting them before or after changes in climate,” he says.
Take the extinction of Neanderthals, which occurred in western Europe less than 30,000 years ago.
Easily modified for different abilities, with my low ability I made all the percentages either 75%, 50% or 25% to make it much easier for them. The worksheets can be used in a number of ways, I used them in two ways, I laminated them both in the same pouch front to back for them to use as a mini whiteboard and write directly on them with a whiteboard pen then rub out the ink for reuse for different questions and classes and to use as group work.
Bronk Ramsey’s team aimed to fill this gap by using sediment from bed of Lake Suigetsu, west of Tokyo.The technique hinges on carbon-14, a radioactive isotope of the element that, unlike other more stable forms of carbon, decays away at a steady rate.