Radiocarbon dating work

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However, a tiny percentage of this carbon is radioactive! If it weren’t for the amiability of carbon, simple organic matter couldn’t have evolved to achieve the extraordinary, inscrutable complexity it now boasts: the complexity to develop a system to sense, to breathe, to digest, to excrete and in a lean, hairless primate, even a system to think.

Now, because C-14 is radioactive, it begins to decay.The carbon content of every organism under the atmosphere therefore is composed of mostly C-12 atoms and a minuscule number of C-14 atoms.The organisms, while they do consume carbon, also expel it when they exhale.This ratio is used by archaeologists to date, say, a tree or a fossil.The radioactivity of an element is measured in terms of its half-life: the time it takes to decay half of its constituents.

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