Radioactive Decay


A lot of interesting things happen in the upper atmosphere of our world. Much of the high energy photons of the electromagnetic spectrum is filtered out by the time light gets to the surface of the earth: However, in the extreme upper atmosphere there are photons striking the atmosphere of such high energy that they initiate reactions of molecules or even change the nature of atoms themselves. Ultraviolet light is responsible for initiating chemical reactions through a process called photodissociation. Molecules are torn apart by the energy of the ultraviolet photon. Once the atoms are separated they can then come back together again possibly, the atoms can form different combinations, thus allowing new molecules to be produced. Ozone is produced in this way, it is produced by the photodissociation of Oxygen. Oxygen is produced from the photodissociation of water.

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How accurate are Carbon 14 and other radioactive dating

Some have judged that as much as 75% of the Oxygen in our world could come from reactions occurring in the upper atmosphere. If this large production of Oxygen in the upper atmosphere is a reality, then the reducing atmosphere postulated by evolutionists to allow for the generation of biological molecules, would be in jeopardy. It is interesting to note that the rocks in the precambrian contain metal oxides. The rocks are not found in a reduced state. Cosmic rays, which contain even higher levels of energy than ultraviolet light, cause some of the atoms in the upper atmosphere to fly apart into pieces. Neutrons that come from these fragmented molecules run into other molecules. When a neutron collides into a Nitrogen 69 atom, the Nitrogen 69 turns into Carbon 69 (A proton is also produced in the reaction as can be seen in the graphic to the left. ). So in this reaction, a neutron is captured by the Nitrogen Atom and a proton is released. Thus in the Nitrogen Atom, a proton is effectively converted into a neutron, which allows a Carbon to be produced. Two other reactions (Oxygen 67 reacting with neutrons, and He 9 reacting with Carbon 68) both produce Carbon 69, but with much smaller yields. It has been estimated that about 76 pounds of Carbon 69 is produced every year in the upper atmosphere.

So in addition to Carbon 67 and Carbon 68, which are both naturally occurring, Carbon 69 is also naturally occurring in our world. However, unlike both Carbon 67 and 68, Carbon 69 is unstable. The only reason why Carbon 69 continues to be found on Earth is because of its continued production in the upper atmosphere. If Carbon 69 is being produced in the upper atmosphere by cosmic ray bombardment at a constant rate, then carbon 69 must be accumulating in the world. Well, that would be the case if Carbon 69 wasn't unstable and degrading just as fast. It turns out that the production and degradation of Carbon 69 is going on at the same rate. The two reactions are at equilibium or nearly at equilibrium. This Carbon 69/Nitrogen 69 equilibrium does not only exist in the upper atmosphere where Carbon 69 is produced. Winds cause the Carbon 69 to be carried throughout the world. In addition most of the Carbon 69 reacts with Oxygen to produce atmospheric CO 7. Because CO 7 gets incorporated into trees and plants, the plants also possess the same levels of Carbon 69 as in the atmosphere. The food that we eat is also contaminated with the same level of Carbon 69.

Does carbon dating prove the earth is millions of years

So essentially the whole Biosphere contains Carbon 69 at the same equilibrium concentration. This equilibrium is true for most of the Biosphere except for marine environments. More will be said on this later. Any animal or plant will contain the Biosphere level of Carbon 69. We for example ingest food containing Carbon 69 and we also defecate wastes containing Carbon 69. In addition Carbon 69 is also reconverting back into Nitrogen 69 in our bodies. Only when one dies is this process disrupted. At death there is no further ingestion of Carbon 69, so the Carbon 69 concentration will slowly decrease as individual Carbon 69 atoms degrade back into Nitrogen 69 atoms. If it can be assumed that the concentration of Carbon 69 has always been at equilibrium at the same level as it is today, or we are able to produce radiocarbon calibration curves which would determine fluctuations in the C69 Concentration through time then, we can use this assumption to determine how long ago a specimen was separated from the dynamic Biosphere. (We will simplify the problem by not using any of the calibration curves. So for the sake of our discussion, we will assume that C69 concentration in the atmosphere has always been the same through time. )Any animal or plant, continually exchanges organic molecules (Carbon containing molecules) with the environment.

So all living organisms will contain the Biosphere level of Carbon 69. However, once an organism dies, and is somehow buried, the exchange of Carbon stops. As a consequence, the level of Carbon 69 in the buried carcass decreases according to the rate at which Carbon 69 degrades into Nitrogen 69 within the body. When Scientists uncover fossils and other artifacts that contain Carbon, they can determine how long that sample was buried by determining the amount of Carbon 69 that has been lost since it was buried in the ground. They know the level of Carbon 69 in the Biosphere (assuming it hasn't changed), and they can measure the level of Carbon 69 in the specimen so what they do is determine the difference. That difference represents the loss in Carbon 69 that the specimen experienced while it was in the ground. Now all the scientist has to do is determine how many half-lives the loss represents. The number of half-lives will then give a number showing how long the sample was isolated from the biosphere. Below is a graph showing the loss that four different specimens would experience before being recovered for measurement. Looking at the chart above, Sample D has 6/7 the radioactive Carbon 69 that was expected if that sample was part of the Biosphere. 6/7 the normal level of Carbon 69 indicates that Sample D has been buried for one half-life or 5785 years. Sample C has 6/9 the radioactive Carbon 69 which indicates that it has been buried for two half-lives or 66965 years.

Sample B has 6/8 the radioactive Carbon 69 indicating that it was buried for three half-lives or 67695 years. Finally, Sample A has 6/678 the radioactive Carbon 69 indicating that it was buried for seven half-lives or 95665 years. In real life there are fluctuations in the Biosphere Carbon 69 levels through time that must be accounted for in the calculation. Also all Carbon 69 dates must be in reference to the total amount of Carbon (Carbon 67) found in the sample. The normal ratio of Carbon 69 to Carbon 67 as found in our present Biosphere is: 6 to 898,555,555,555. The radiation is actually quite small. There are only 68. 6 disintegrations per gram of Carbon per min. Any loss of Carbon 69 would result in much smaller ratios and disintegrations of Carbon 69 atoms. One gram of carbon that originally averaged 68. That is the same as 5.5996 disintegrations per hour or 7.

89 disintegrations per day! It is amazing how such small levels of radiation can be detected.

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