Question: Why is carbon-14 used for radiocarbon dating?

Carbon-14 is considered a radioactive isotope of carbon. Because its unstable, carbon-14 will eventually decay back to carbon-12 isotopes. And thats the key to radiocarbon dating. Scientists measure the ratio of carbon isotopes to be able to estimate how far back in time a biological sample was active or alive.

What role does C 14 play in radiocarbon dating?

The Carbon 14 (C-14) dating method is a radiometric dating method. A radiometric dating uses the known rate of decay of radioactive isotopes to date an object. Each radioactive isotope has a known, fixed rate of decay, which we call a half-life.

How does carbon get into a living thing how does carbon-14 get into a living thing?

Carbon-14 formed in the atmosphere can combine with oxygen to form carbon dioxide (CO2). This carbon-14 labeled carbon dioxide is taken up by plants in their normal process of photosynthesis. Animals and people that eat these plants take the carbon-14 into their bodies as well.

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