## The maths of online dating

The task requires the student to use logarithms to solve an exponential equation in the realistic context of carbon dating, important in archaeology and geology, among other places. Note that the purpose of this task is algebraic in nature -- closely related tasks exist which approach similar problems from numerical or graphical stances. The two solutions provided differ slightly in their approach in this regard. In either case, it is more appropriate to report the time since the plant has died as approximately 19, years since these measurements are never completely precise.

The overall probability is therefore made up of several terms:. If X is among the first people you date, then tough luck, you have missed your chance.

## Illustrative Mathematics

The probability of settling with X is zero. Therefore, the first terms of equation 1 are all zero. Now all things being equal which we assume they are the probability of X being the out of people is X is equally likely to be in any of the possible positions. In other words, you pick X if the highest-ranked among the first people turned up within the first people. The probability of that is. The chance of X coming is again.

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We can continue like this until we hit the case in which X is the last person you date. For a given number of people you want to choose so that you maximise. This means that we want. Substituting the expressions for and from the equation above and manipulating the inequality gives. See this article for the detailed calculation. We can go through the same calculation for and find that. This means you should discard the first person and then go for the next one that tops the previous ones.

So you should discard the first two people and then go for the next one that tops the previous ones. These percentages are nowhere near 37, but as you crank up the value of , they get closer to the magic number.

When finding the age of an organic organism we need to consider the half-life of carbon 14 as well as the rate of decay, which is —0. How old is the fossil?

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We can use a formula for carbon 14 dating to find the answer. So, the fossil is 8, years old, meaning the living organism died 8, years ago.

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Math Central - mathcentral. Carbon 14 Dating Archaeologists use the exponential, radioactive decay of carbon 14 to estimate the death dates of organic material.