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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.
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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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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.