How carbon dating works for kids carbon dating flaws mammoth


05-Dec-2015 22:32

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Jacquie has the answers to all of your Solar-Cooler questions.

Feel free to ask her about product development, custom Solar-Coolers, features, carbon footprint, how to order, and more!

But don't panic — of the 800,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 carbon atoms in every one of us, about 800,000,000,000,000 are carbon-14, so we've got a few to spare.

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Chemically, carbon-14 is no different from non-radioactive carbon atoms, so it ends up in all the usual carbon places — one trillionth of the carbon atoms in air, plants, animals and us are radioactive.

But something else is going on that keeps producing new carbon-14 — otherwise it would have all turned to nitrogen millions of years ago.

All radioactive atoms eventually decay into something more stable, and carbon-14 decays into nitrogen.

For a rare event it happens pretty damn often — one million carbon-14 atoms in your body decay into nitrogen every minute!

Everything from the fibres in the Shroud of Turin to Otzi the Iceman has had their birthday determined the carbon-14 way. There's plenty of hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen in living things too, but carbon's got something none of them do — a radioactive isotope that can take thousands of years to decay.

(You can read up on radioactivity and isotopes here).



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