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Now, carbon-14 has a half-life of about 5,730 years, so every 5,730 years, half of it is going to decay into nitrogen.
The more carbon-14 that an artifact has, the more recent it is.
Nuclear chemistry is a field of chemistry that deals with the use of radioactive isotopes and other nuclear reactions.
This releases a lot of energy because the original atom was so unstable.
Free 5-day trial What can the sun do that we can't? Are radioactive isotopes helpful in the medical field?
The answers to these questions can be found in this lesson on the applications of nuclear chemistry.
Because many things were once living organisms or were once made from living organisms, measuring the percentage of carbon-14 in an artifact is a very reliable way of being able to tell how old the artifact is.
Our next application of nuclear chemistry is in medicine.
Sometimes when diagnosing certain types of diseases, stable atoms in your body are replaced by radioactive atoms of the same element.