Formula for carbon dating
Instead, the half-life is defined in terms of probability: "Half-life is the time required for exactly half of the entities to decay on average".In other words, the probability of a radioactive atom decaying within its half-life is 50%.
Perhaps a puddle of a certain size will evaporate down to half its original volume in one day.In that case, it does not work to use the definition that states "half-life is the time required for exactly half of the entities to decay".For example, if there is just one radioactive atom, and its half-life is one second, there will not be "half of an atom" left after one second.For example, the medical sciences refer to the biological half-life of drugs and other chemicals in the human body. The original term, half-life period, dating to Ernest Rutherford's discovery of the principle in 1907, was shortened to half-life in the early 1950s.Rutherford applied the principle of a radioactive element's half-life to studies of age determination of rocks by measuring the decay period of radium to lead-206.
If a fossil contains 60% of its original carbon, how old is the fossil? That means this is how long it takes for half the nuclei to decay.