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The following tools can generate any one of the values from the other three in the half-life formula for a substance undergoing decay to decrease by half. Half-life is defined as the amount of dating half life it takes a given quantity to decrease to half of its initial value. The term is most commonly used in relation to atoms undergoing radioactive decay, but can be used to describe other types of decay, whether exponential or not. One of the most well-known applications of half-life is carbon dating. The half-life of carbon is approximately 5, years, and it can be reliably used to measure dates up to around 50, years ago.

As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 79, lessons in math, English, science, history, and more. Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed. Already registered? Log in here for access. Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. Log in or Sign up. Gillaspy has taught health science at University dating half life Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Scientists look at half-life decay rates of radioactive isotopes to estimate when a particular atom might decay. A useful application of half-lives is radioactive dating. This has to do with figuring out the age of ancient things.

As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 79, lessons in math, English, science, history, and more. Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed. Already registered? Log in here for access. Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. Log in or Sign up. Gillaspy has taught health science at University dating half life Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Scientists look at half-life decay rates of radioactive isotopes to estimate when a particular atom might decay. A useful application of half-lives is radioactive dating. This has to do with figuring out the age of ancient things.

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If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our dating half life. To log in and use all the features of Khan Academy, please enable JavaScript in your browser. Science Physics Quantum Physics Nuclei. Mass defect and binding energy. Nuclear stability and nuclear equations. Writing nuclear equations for alpha, beta, and gamma decay. Half-life and carbon dating. Exponential decay formula proof can skip, involves calculus.

The term is commonly used in nuclear physics to describe how quickly unstable atoms undergo, or how long stable atoms survive, radioactive decay. The term is also used more generally to characterize any type of exponential or non-exponential decay. For example, the medical sciences refer to the biological half-life of drugs and other chemicals in the human body. The converse of half-life is doubling time.

If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our dating half life. To log in and use all the features of Khan Academy, please enable JavaScript in your browser. Science Physics Quantum Physics Nuclei. Mass defect and binding energy. Nuclear stability and nuclear equations. Writing nuclear equations for alpha, beta, and gamma decay. Half-life and carbon dating. Exponential decay formula proof can skip, involves calculus.

The term is commonly used in nuclear physics to describe how quickly unstable atoms undergo, or how long stable atoms survive, radioactive decay. The term is also used more generally to characterize any type of exponential or non-exponential decay. For example, the medical sciences refer to the biological half-life of drugs and other chemicals in the human body. The converse of half-life is doubling time.