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This half life is a relatively small number, which means that carbon 14 dating is not particularly helpful for very recent deaths and deaths more than 50,000 years ago.

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In the case of radiocarbon dating, the half-life of carbon 14 is 5,730 years.

If we assume Carbon-14 decays continuously, then $$ C(t) = C_0e^, $$ where $C_0$ is the initial size of the sample. Since it takes 5,700 years for a sample to decay to half its size, we know $$ \frac C_0 = C_0e^, $$ which means $$ \frac = e^, $$ so the value of $C_0$ is irrelevant.

Now, take the logarithm of both sides to get $$ -0.693 = -5700k, $$ from which we can derive $$ k \approx 1.22 \cdot 10^.

For example, there is a radioactive form of potassium (potassium-40) that decays into argon (argon-40).

The unstable potassium isotope is called the parent while the argon product is called the daughter.

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