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02-Jul-2020 07:45

The best radioactive element to use to date human fossils is Carbon-14.There are several reasons why, but the main reasons is that Carbon-14 is a naturally occurring isotope in all forms of life and its half-life is about 5730 years, so we are able to use it to date more "recent" forms of life relative to the geologic time scale.The half-lives of several radioactive isotopes are known and are used often to figure out the age of newly found fossils.Different isotopes have different half-lives and sometimes more than one present isotope can be used to get an even more specific age of a fossil.This is what your readout said, so your fossil has undergone two half-lives.Now that you know how many half-lives have passed for your fossil, you need to multiply your number of half-lives by how many years are in one half-life. Your fossil is of an organism (maybe human) that died 11,460 years ago.Learn about different types of radiometric dating, such as carbon dating.Understand how decay and half life work to enable radiometric dating.

However, your readout from your radioactivity measuring instrument says you have only 25% Carbon-14 and 75% Nitrogen-14, so your fossil must have been through more than one half-life.

Now it is time to put those math skills to good use.