# Radiocarbon dating problem solving

Although the time at which any individual atom will decay cannot be forecast, the time in which any given percentage of a sample will decay can be calculated to varying degrees of accuracy.

The time that it takes for half of a sample to decay is known as the half life of the isotope.

It suffers from the problem that rubidium and strontium are very mobile and may easily enter rocks at a much later date to that of formation.

This method for rock dating is based on the decay of potassium-40 into argon: until the rock solidifies, argon can escape, so it can in theory date the formation of rock.

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Symbolically, the process of radioactive decay can be expressed by the following differential equation, where N is the quantity of decaying nuclei and k is a positive number called the exponential decay constant.

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