Problem: Geologists can estimate the age of rocks by their uranium-238 content. The uranium is incorporated in the rock as it hardens and then decays with first-order kinetics and a half-life of 4.5 billion years. A rock is found to contain 84.3% of the amount of uranium-238 that it contained when it was formed. (The amount that the rock contained when it was formed can be deduced from the presence of the decay products of U-238.) Part AHow old is the rock? Express your answer using two significant figures.

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Geologists can estimate the age of rocks by their uranium-238 content. The uranium is incorporated in the rock as it hardens and then decays with first-order kinetics and a half-life of 4.5 billion years. A rock is found to contain 84.3% of the amount of uranium-238 that it contained when it was formed. (The amount that the rock contained when it was formed can be deduced from the presence of the decay products of U-238.) 

Part A

How old is the rock? Express your answer using two significant figures.

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What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the First Order Half Life concept. You can view video lessons to learn First Order Half Life. Or if you need more First Order Half Life practice, you can also practice First Order Half Life practice problems.

What professor is this problem relevant for?

Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Lyon's class at KSU.