Radioactive carbon dating process

These rapidly combine with oxygen atoms (the second most abundant element in the atmosphere, at 21%) to form carbon dioxide (CO).

In this way, items of unknown age can be tested and an age determined to a reasonable degree of accuracy. More tomorrow where we explore the concept of isochron dating and how it neatly destroys most of the rest of these ‘issues’.The standard way of expressing the decay rate is called the half-life.5 It’s defined as the time it takes half a given quantity of a radioactive element to decay.So if we started with 2 million atoms of carbon-14 in our measured quantity of carbon, then the half-life of radiocarbon would be the time it takes for half, or 1 million, of those atoms to decay.Radioactive and non-radioactive carbon dioxide mix throughout the atmosphere, and dissolve into the oceans.Through photosynthesis carbon dioxide enters plants and algae, bringing radiocarbon into the food chain.

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