Radio carbon dating chemistry
This has to do with figuring out the age of ancient things.If you could watch a single atom of a radioactive isotope, U-238, for example, you wouldn’t be able to predict when that particular atom might decay.
Carbon dioxide also permeates the oceans, dissolving in the water.
Professor Willard Libby has been selected to be the prize-winner for his method of age determination of materials of biological origin by use of carbon-14 as a measurer of time.
His method has obtained widespread use and has become indispensable in archaeology, geology, geophysics and other sciences.
It might take a millisecond, or it might take a century. But if you have a large enough sample, a pattern begins to emerge.
It takes a certain amount of time for half the atoms in a sample to decay.
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Nyerup's words illustrate poignantly the critical power and importance of dating; to order time.