What is Carbon Dating? - Definition & Overview


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Which radioisotope of carbon is used in carbon dating?

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1. Approximately how long is the half-life of carbon-14?

2. If you have 200.0 g of a radioactive isotope with a half-life of 5 days, how much of the isotope is left after 15 days?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

Carbon dating is a way to determine the age of certain types of materials. This quiz/worksheet combo will help you test your understanding of the characteristics of carbon dating. Some things you'll be assessed on include which radioisotope of carbon is used in carbon dating, the length of the half-life of carbon-14, and what you can determine about isotopes based upon half-life.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

In these assessments you'll be tested on:

  • Radioisotope of carbon used in carbon dating
  • Length of the half-life of carbon-14
  • What you can determine about isotopes based upon half-life
  • How many half-lives a radioactive isotope has before scientists consider it gone
  • Items that cannot be dated using carbon dating

Skills Practiced

  • Information recall - access the knowledge you've gained regarding the radioisotope of carbon used in carbon dating
  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer questions about the characteristics of carbon dating and what it may be used to date
  • Interpreting information - verify that you can read information on half-life related to carbon dating and interpret it correctly

Additional Learning

To learn more about this method of radiometric dating, review the accompanying lesson called What is Carbon Dating? - Definition & Overview. This lesson covers the following topics:

  • Definition
  • Radioactive half-lives
  • Using Carbon-14 for dating
  • Relationship of photosynthesis to carbon dating