Carbon 14 dating works

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Radiocarbon decays slowly in a living organism, and the amount lost is continually replenished as long as the organism takes in air or food.Once the organism dies, however, it ceases to absorb carbon-14, so that the amount of the radiocarbon in its tissues steadily decreases.As soon as it dies, however, the C ration gets smaller.In other words, we have a ‘clock’ which starts ticking at the moment something dies.The article is in straightforward language and the non-technical reader could profitably work through it., we find that this ration is the same if we sample a leaf from a tree, or a part of your body.Think of it like a teaspoon of cocoa mixed into a cake dough—after a while, the ‘ratio’ of cocoa to flour particles would be roughly the same no matter which part of the cake you sampled.

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This is because the amount and strength of cosmic radiation entering the earth's atmosphere has varied over time.

This tendency to decay, called radioactivity, is what gives radiocarbon the name radiocarbon.

The atmosphere contains many stable carbon atoms and relatively few radiocarbon atoms.

by Dr Carl Wieland An attempt to explain this very important method of dating and the way in which, when fully understood, it supports a ‘short’ timescale.

In fact, the whole method is a giant ‘clock’ which seems to put a very young upper limit on the age of the atmosphere.

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