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# Radioactive half life can be used to discover what?

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## Related Questions

###### Asked in Fossils

### How are radioactive isotopes used to determine the absolute age of igneous rock?

Answer : When the isotopes decay, scientists can find out
how old the rock is depending on the radioactive isotope's
half-life. Explanation: Radioactive isotopes are unstable
and will decay. For example, when humans die carbon-14 decays. The
isotopes will decay into a stable isotope over time. Scientists can
tell how old the rock was from looking at the radioactive isotope's
half-life, which tells them how long it would take for there to be
half the radioactive isotope and half the stable isotope. At the
next half-life there will be 25% of the radioactive isotope and 75%
of the stable isotope. At the next half life there will be 12.5%
radioactive and 87.5% stable. Example: Carbon-14 is a
radioactive isotope with a half life of 5,730 years. How old would
carbon-14 be when there is 75% carbon-14 in the rock? 75% is half
of the time before the half-life, so it would be 2,365 years.
Hope this helps. Half life helps scientists find how much the
isotope has decayed and the age of the rock.

###### Asked in Fossils

### How can radioactive dating show the absolute rock age?

the half life of the radioactive substance is used to determine
the mass lost over a period of time. For example rubidium 85 has a
half life of 10.756 years, therefore if you had 1kg of Rubidium 85
in 10.756 years it mass will have decreased to 0.5kg due to the
radioactive decay. providing the half life of the material is know
we can work out the age by seeing how much it had decayed

###### Asked in Geology, Physics, Chemistry

### What term is used to describe the rate of a radioactive isotope's decay?

Half-life (in units of time).
Half-Life is the rate of radioactive decay, measured in time. The
half life gives the time it take for half of the radioactive atoms
in a system to decay. Fore example, if you have 10 grams of
carbon-14, it will take 5730 years for half of it to decay, giving
you 5 grams. In another 5730 years, you'll have 2.5 grams left,
etc...
Isotopes decay at an exponential rate. A half-life is the time that
half of the population of an isotope will decay. The measure is a
statistical probability and is more accurate when a large
population is observed. The term half-life is applied to describe a
property of a given isotope (i.e. the half-life of Carbon 14 is
5730).
half life

###### Asked in Chemistry

### Give any 2 uses of radioactive isotope?

It can be used in medicine, they use a radioactive isotope of a
very short half life to help diagnose medical conditions.
Carbon 14 can also be used to date organic material and is
determined by the decay rate and comparison of carbon-14 to
carbon-12 as carbon-14 is a radioactive isotope and will hence
decay at a half life of 5720 years.

###### Asked in Science, Paleontology

### What is a suitable half-life?

Suitable half-life of a radioactive element or isotope depends
upon its uses. For example, a digested, radioisotope such as Iodine
131 requires a short half life so as to be expelled from the body
quickly, while Technetium 99m used in industry and machines
requires a long half-life to reduce the regularity of
replacement.

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