This is why it is such a big concern when a nuclear submarine sinks... (By the way, you are mostly Carbon-12, which is not radioactive.
Eventually, the salt water will eat through the steel and release the Plutonium (which, as you know, is quite lethal.) They usually talk about either trying to raise the sub or encase it in concrete where it rests. That's why we are called "Carbon-based life forms." Man, I've really watched too much Star Trek.)Scientists use Carbon-14 to make a guess at how old some things are -- things that used to be alive like people, animals, wood and natural cloths. Anyway, they make an estimate of how much Carbon-14 would have been in the thing when it died...
The halflife of carbon 14 is 5730 ± 30 years, and the method of dating lies in trying to determine how much carbon 14 (the radioactive isotope of carbon) is present in the artifact and comparing it to levels currently present in the atmosphere.
Above is a graph that illustrates the relationship between how much Carbon 14 is left in a sample and how old it is.
Most people think that radioactive dating has proven the earth is billions of years old.
Each original isotope, called the parent, gradually decays to form a new isotope, called the daughter.
Each isotope is identified with what is called a ‘mass number’.
, where r is a measurement of the rate of decay, k is the first order rate constant for the isotope, and N is the amount of radioisotope at the moment when the rate is measured.
The rate of decay is often referred to as the activity of the isotope and is often measured in Curies (Ci), one curie = 3.700 x 10" is the initial amount of radioisotope at the beginning of the period, and "k" is the rate constant for the radioisotope being studied.