Question: How does carbon dating work and how does it work?

The basis of radiocarbon dating is simple: all living things absorb carbon from the atmosphere and food sources around them, including a certain amount of natural, radioactive carbon-14. When the plant or animal dies, they stop absorbing, but the radioactive carbon that theyve accumulated continues to decay.

What does carbon dating tell us and how does it work?

Radiocarbon dating works by comparing the three different isotopes of carbon. Isotopes of a particular element have the same number of protons in their nucleus, but different numbers of neutrons. This means its nucleus is so large that it is unstable. Over time 14C decays to nitrogen (14N).

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