Use the fact that after 5715 years a given amount of carbon 14 will have decayed to half the original amount to find the exponential decay model for carbon 14. In 1947, earthenware jars containing what was known as the Dead Sea scrolls were found by an Arab Bedouin herdsman. Analysis indicated that the scrolls wrapping contained 76% of their original carbon 14. Estimate the age of the Dead Sea scrolls.

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  1. just solve for t in

    (1/2)^(t/5715) = 0.76
    t/5715 = log(.76)/log(.5)
    t = 2262

    makes sense, since 76% is about half way to 50%.

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