Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 33 - Think and Explain: 81

Answer

The half-life of Carbon-14 is too short for this technique to be useful to date dinosaur bones.

Work Step by Step

The half-life of C-14 is 5730 years. Dinosaur bones are many millions of years old, and too little C-14 remains. It would be difficult to distinguish between, say, bones from 75 million years ago or 100 million years ago. Longer-lived radioactive isotopes must be used. This is discussed on page 631.
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