# How logarithms are used in radiocarbon dating

And if you haven't taken calculus, you can really just skip that video.

This is the International Radiocarbon Dating Standard.

And it'll get a little bit mathy, usually involving a little bit of algebra or a little bit of exponential decay, but to really show you how you can actually figure out the age of some volcanic rock using this technique, using a little bit of mathematics.

So we know that anything that is experiencing radioactive decay, it's experiencing exponential decay.

Free 5-day trial Let's return to a scientist studying an old math book. If I divide both the left and right side by 5730, I can calculate C. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

He wants to find out how old it is using carbon dating. C = ln(.5)/5730, which is about equal to -0.000121. The percent carbon that we have is equal to e^(-0.000121t).

This is the International Radiocarbon Dating Standard.

And it'll get a little bit mathy, usually involving a little bit of algebra or a little bit of exponential decay, but to really show you how you can actually figure out the age of some volcanic rock using this technique, using a little bit of mathematics.

So we know that anything that is experiencing radioactive decay, it's experiencing exponential decay.

Free 5-day trial Let's return to a scientist studying an old math book. If I divide both the left and right side by 5730, I can calculate C. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

He wants to find out how old it is using carbon dating. C = ln(.5)/5730, which is about equal to -0.000121. The percent carbon that we have is equal to e^(-0.000121t).

But it's not as useful if we're trying to figure out how much of a compound we have after 1/2 of a half-life, or after one day, or 10 seconds, or 10 billion years.