Many isotopes have been studied, probing a wide range of time scales.
C and counting the amount of each) allows one to date the death of the once-living things.
In the process, they will release energy and matter from their nucleus and often transform into a new element.
Unlike the other natural isotopes of carbon, carbon-14 is unstable. One of its neutrons turns into a proton and spits out an electron.
Now, with seven protons instead of six, it's turned into nitrogen. And scientists know exactly how long it will take for half of any amount of carbon-14 to decay away.
The radioactive decay and transmutation process will continue until a new element is formed that has a stable nucleus and is not radioactive.
Transmutation can occur naturally or by artificial means.
The process of determining the age of previously living organisms is called radioactive dating.
The technique of comparing the abundance ratio of a radioactive isotope to a reference isotope to determine the age of a material is called radioactive dating.American physical chemist Willard Libby led a team of scientists in the post World War II era to develop a method that measures radiocarbon activity.He is credited to be the first scientist to suggest that the unstable carbon isotope called radiocarbon or carbon 14 might exist in living matter. Libby and his team of scientists were able to publish a paper summarizing the first detection of radiocarbon in an organic sample. Libby who first measured radiocarbon’s rate of decay and established 5568 years ± 30 years as the half-life. Libby was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in recognition of his efforts to develop radiocarbon dating.Alpha decay is usually restricted to the heavier elements in the periodic table.(Only a handful of nuclides with atomic numbers less than 83 emit an -particle.) The product of -decay is easy to predict if we assume that both mass and charge are conserved in nuclear reactions.Remember that a radioisotope has unstable nuclei that does not have enough binding energy to hold the nucleus together.