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The figure shows two images of Jesus. Left image is very faint and hardly visible but the right image shows a much clearer picture.
Part of the Shroud of Turin, which shows a remarkable negative imprint likeness of Jesus complete with evidence of crucifixion wounds. The shroud first surfaced in the 14th century and was only recently carbon-14 dated. It has not been determined how the image was placed on the material. (credit: Butko, Wikimedia Commons)

How old is the shroud of turin?

Calculate the age of the Shroud of Turin given that the amount of 14 C size 12{"" lSup { size 8{"14"} } C} {} found in it is 92% of that in living tissue.


Knowing that 92% of the 14 C remains means that N / N 0 = 0 . 92 size 12{N/N rSub { size 8{0} } =0 "." "92"} {} . Therefore, the equation N = N 0 e λt size 12{N=N rSub { size 8{0} } e rSup { size 8{ - λt} } } {} can be used to find λt size 12{λt} {} . We also know that the half-life of 14 C is 5730 y, and so once λt size 12{λt} {} is known, we can use the equation λ = 0 . 693 t 1 / 2 size 12{λ= { {0 "." "693"} over {t rSub { size 8{1/2} } } } } {} to find λ size 12{λ} {} and then find t size 12{t} {} as requested. Here, we postulate that the decrease in 14 C is solely due to nuclear decay.


Solving the equation N = N 0 e λt size 12{N=N rSub { size 8{0} } e rSup { size 8{ - λt} } } {} for N / N 0 size 12{N/N rSub { size 8{0} } } {} gives

N N 0 = e λt . size 12{ { {N} over {N rSub { size 8{0} } } } =e rSup { size 8{-λt} } } {}


0 . 92 = e λt . size 12{0 "." "92"=e rSup { size 8{ - λt} } } {}

Taking the natural logarithm of both sides of the equation yields

ln 0 . 92 = –λt size 12{"ln "0 "." "92""=-"λt} {}

so that

0 . 0834 = λt . size 12{ - 0 "." "0834"= - λt} {}

Rearranging to isolate t size 12{t} {} gives

t = 0 . 0834 λ . size 12{t= { {0 "." "0834"} over {λ} } } {}

Now, the equation λ = 0 . 693 t 1 / 2 size 12{λ= { {0 "." "693"} over {t rSub { size 8{1/2} } } } } {} can be used to find λ size 12{λ} {} for 14 C size 12{"" lSup { size 8{"14"} } C} {} . Solving for λ size 12{λ} {} and substituting the known half-life gives

λ = 0 . 693 t 1 / 2 = 0 . 693 5730 y . size 12{λ= { {0 "." "693"} over {t rSub { size 8{1/2} } } } = { {0 "." "693"} over {"5730"" y"} } } {}

We enter this value into the previous equation to find t size 12{t} {} :

t = 0 . 0834 0 . 693 5730 y = 690 y. size 12{t= { {0 "." "0834"} over { { {0 "." "693"} over {"5730"" y"} } } } ="690"" y"} {}


This dates the material in the shroud to 1988–690 = a.d. 1300. Our calculation is only accurate to two digits, so that the year is rounded to 1300. The values obtained at the three independent laboratories gave a weighted average date of a.d. 1320 ± 60 size 12{"1320" +- "60"} {} . The uncertainty is typical of carbon-14 dating and is due to the small amount of 14 C size 12{"" lSup { size 8{"14"} } C} {} in living tissues, the amount of material available, and experimental uncertainties (reduced by having three independent measurements). It is meaningful that the date of the shroud is consistent with the first record of its existence and inconsistent with the period in which Jesus lived.

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There are other forms of radioactive dating. Rocks, for example, can sometimes be dated based on the decay of 238 U . The decay series for 238 U ends with 206 Pb , so that the ratio of these nuclides in a rock is an indication of how long it has been since the rock solidified. The original composition of the rock, such as the absence of lead, must be known with some confidence. However, as with carbon-14 dating, the technique can be verified by a consistent body of knowledge. Since 238 U has a half-life of 4 . 5 × 10 9 y, it is useful for dating only very old materials, showing, for example, that the oldest rocks on Earth solidified about 3 . 5 × 10 9 size 12{3 "." 5 times "10" rSup { size 8{9} } } {} years ago.

Activity, the rate of decay

What do we mean when we say a source is highly radioactive? Generally, this means the number of decays per unit time is very high. We define activity     R size 12{R} {} to be the rate of decay    expressed in decays per unit time. In equation form, this is

R = Δ N Δ t size 12{R= { {ΔN} over {Δt} } } {}

where Δ N size 12{ΔN} {} is the number of decays that occur in time Δ t size 12{Δt} {} . The SI unit for activity is one decay per second and is given the name becquerel    (Bq) in honor of the discoverer of radioactivity. That is,

1 Bq = 1 decay/s. size 12{1" Bq"="1 decay/s"} {}

Activity R size 12{R} {} is often expressed in other units, such as decays per minute or decays per year. One of the most common units for activity is the curie    (Ci), defined to be the activity of 1 g of 226 Ra , in honor of Marie Curie’s work with radium. The definition of curie is

Questions & Answers

what is a wave
Williams Reply
wave means. A field of study
what are Atoms
is the movement back and front or up and down
how ?
wave is a disturbance that transfers energy through matter or space with little or no associated mass.
A wave is a motion of particles in disturbed medium that carry energy from one midium to another
an atom is the smallest unit( particle) of an element that bares it's chemical properties
what is electromagnetic induction?
How is the de Broglie wavelength of electrons related to the quantization of their orbits in atoms and molecules?
Larissa Reply
How do you convert 0.0045kgcm³ to the si unit?
how many state of matter do we really have like I mean... is there any newly discovered state of matter?
Falana Reply
I only know 5: •Solids •Liquids •Gases •Plasma •Bose-Einstein condensate
Alright Thank you
Which one is the Bose-Einstein
can you explain what plasma and the I her one you mentioned
u can say sun or stars are just the state of plasma
but the are more than seven
list it out I wanna know
what the meaning of continuum
Akhigbe Reply
What state of matter is fire
Thapelo Reply
fire is not in any state of matter...fire is rather a form of energy produced from an oxidising reaction.
Isn`t fire the plasma state of matter?
all this while I taught it was plasma
How can you define time?
Thapelo Reply
Time can be defined as a continuous , dynamic , irreversible , unpredictable quantity .
unpredictable? but I can say after one o'clock its going to be two o'clock predictably!
how can we define vector
I would define it as having a magnitude (size)with a direction. An example I can think of is a car traveling at 50m/s (magnitude) going North (direction)
as for me guys u would say time is quantity that measures how long it takes for a specific condition to happen e.g how long it takes for the day to end or how it takes for the travelling car to cover a km.
what is the relativity of physics
Paul Reply
How do you convert 0.0045kgcm³ to the si unit?
What is the formula for motion
Anthony Reply
V=u+at V²=u²-2as
they are eqns of linear motion
v=u+at s=ut+at^\2 v^=u^+2as where ^=2
Explain dopplers effect
Jennifer Reply
Not yet learnt
Explain motion with types
Acceleration is the change in velocity over time. Given this information, is acceleration a vector or a scalar quantity? Explain.
Alabi Reply
Scalar quantity Because acceleration has only magnitude
acleration is vectr quatity it is found in a spefied direction and it is product of displcemnt
its a scalar quantity
velocity is speed and direction. since velocity is a part of acceleration that makes acceleration a vector quantity. an example of this is centripetal acceleration. when you're moving in a circular patter at a constant speed, you are still accelerating because your direction is constantly changing.
acceleration is a vector quantity. As explained by Josh Thompson, even in circular motion, bodies undergoing circular motion only accelerate because on the constantly changing direction of their constant speed. also retardation and acceleration are differentiated by virtue of their direction in
respect to prevailing force
What is the difference between impulse and momentum?
Momentum is the product of the mass of a body and the change in velocity of its motion. ie P=m(v-u)/t (SI unit is kgm/s). it is literally the impact of collision from a moving body. While Impulse is the product of momentum and time. I = Pt (SI unit is kgm) or it is literally the change in momentum
Or I = m(v-u)
the tendency of a body to maintain it's inertia motion is called momentum( I believe you know what inertia means) so for a body to be in momentum it will be really hard to stop such body or object..... this is where impulse comes in.. the force applied to stop the momentum of such body is impulse..
Calculation of kinetic and potential energy
dion Reply
K.e=mv² P.e=mgh
K is actually 1/2 mv^2
what impulse is given to an a-particle of mass 6.7*10^-27 kg if it is ejected from a stationary nucleus at a speed of 3.2*10^-6ms²? what average force is needed if it is ejected in approximately 10^-8 s?
speed=velocity÷time velocity=speed×time=3.2×10^-6×10^-8=32×10^-14m/s impulse [I]=∆momentum[P]=mass×velocity=6.7×10^-27×32×10^-14=214.4×10^-41kg/ms force=impulse÷time=214.4×10^-41÷10^-8=214.4×10^-33N. dats how I solved it.if wrong pls correct me.
what is sound wave
Nworu Reply
sound wave is a mechanical longitudinal wave that transfers energy from one point to another
its a longitudnal wave which is associted wth compresion nad rearfractions
what is power
it's also a capability to do something or act in a particular way.
Newton laws of motion
power also known as the rate of ability to do work
power means capabilty to do work p=w/t its unit is watt or j/s it also represents how much work is done fr evry second
what does fluorine do?
Cheyanne Reply
strengthen and whiten teeth.
Practice Key Terms 8

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Source:  OpenStax, College physics. OpenStax CNX. Jul 27, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11406/1.9
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