• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Research for P4 Data Task

Extracts from this document...


Physics Research  – P4

Source Number

Source Link

Question Number












Source 1

Willard Frank Libby developed the carbon-14 dating method that was used in dating the Turin Shroud.

1908 – 1980.

 Willard Libby was an American Chemist, best known for his development carbon 14 techniques. Libby was born Dec. 17, 1908 in Grand Valley, Colorado. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of California-Berkeley in 1933, where he stayed on as an Instructor until 1941. At this time, he moved to Columbia, New York and joined Columbia University’s Division of War Research to work on the development of the atomic bomb. After the war, he served as a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Chicago.

...read more.


Wood, charcoal, marine and fresh water shells, bone & antler.

Anything organic or once living.

Grains, seeds, nutshells, grasses, twigs, cloth, paper, hide, burnt bones, organic material mixed with soil charcoal & wood charred bones

Source 3

Radioactivity: Spontaneous changes in a nucleus accompanied by the emission of energy from the nucleus as a radiation.

Radioactive Half-Life: A period of time in which half the nuclei of a species of radioactive substance would decay.

We imagine that we have a radioactive substance. When the nuclei of the substance decay, they emit radiation (alpha, beta, or gamma rays) that can be detected by counters such as a Geiger Counter. For a Geiger Counter, each time an emitted particle passes through the Geiger Counter, the counter makes a clicking sound. The number of clicks per unit time of the counter tells us how many decays per unit time are occurring. But the rate of clicks decreases with time because the rate is directly proportional to the number of radioactive nuclei in the substance that can decay.

...read more.


reservoir effect." For example:

 It is possible for snails to live in water that contains carbon leached out of ancient limestone which has no measurable C-14 left. As a result, the snails' shells will also be deficient in C-14 and test older than their true age.

In a few areas of the world, seals dine on fish that in turn had eaten other fish and plants that lived in sea water that has been traveling along the bottom of the ocean for thousands of years, gradually losing its C-14 content. Again, the quantity of C-14 in their environment is deficient. They would also test older than they really are.

According to EvoWiki.org: "The problem caused by the reservoir effect is well known by archaeologists, geologists, and anybody else who use radiocarbon dates; they test for it and take it into account when interpreting radiocarbon data."

Contamination of the sample can include sufficient C-14 to make it seem newer than it really is. Porous samples can contain recently living material with a full "charge" of C-14. Sample cleaning and proper laboratory technique are critical.

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Radioactivity section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Radioactivity essays


    (8 out of 10) Caroline Lucus from the Green Party: "The bottom line is there are much greater, safer, quicker, cheaper ways of achieving greater emission cuts that going down the nuclear route. Plus the signal that is gives out intentionally is an incredibly negative one."

  2. What radon is and how it is formed by radioactive decay

    bursts of energy, which can damage lung tissue and may lead to lung cancer in some humans. Smoking can significantly increase the risk of developing lung cancer in those people who are exposed to high levels of radon for extended periods of time.

  1. Mutagenesis: The Effect of Radiation on Radish Seeds.

    However, the higher the dosage of radiation that seeds are exposed to, the greater the effect the radiation is predicted to have on growth of the seed. In this laboratory experiment, we observed the effect of various dosages of radiation on the growth height phenotypes of radish plants.

  2. The advantages and disadvantages of nuclear power and fossil fuels and which is the ...

    7 How does each power plant work? Fossil fuels (See Diagram 1 on separate sheet) 11 This is an example of how a fossil fuel power station works, using coal as the fuel. Most fossil fuel plants work in this way, regardless of the fuel being coal, gas or oil.

  1. radiocarbon dating coursework

    Also we must use the proper equipment to extract any object as contaminated equipment might affect the results, the equipment used must be pure from any forms of radiation from previous objects as well.

  2. Effects of the Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

    This causes the subcritical mass to be compressed into a smaller volume, thus creating a supercritical mass to be formed. After this supercritical mass is obtained, a self-sustained chain reaction takes place and causes the atomic explosion (World Book, 1990).

  1. Should radioactive smoke alarms be a compulsory purchase?

    It is also more likely to go off due to food being burnt during cooking which might make the alarm a nuisance and lead to people deactivating it and forgetting to reactivate it later which could have fatal consequences. Lastly, the fact that it contains radioactive material may put people

  2. Factors affectin cooling rate

    One layer of wool: To insulate the beakers. Measuring Cylinder: To accurately measure 50ml of hot water. A Piece of Wood: To reduce evaporation. Aluminium Foil: To reduce heat radiation. Diagram: Method: 1) Collect all equipment shown above, including five different sized beakers.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work