Carbon 14 dating equipment

This carbon-14 immediately starts to radioactively decay but is constantly being recreated.This leaves the amount in the air relatively constant.This process is constantly ongoing, so that at any point in time the amount of carbon-14 in living plants is the same as the amount of carbon-14 in the air around them.Living plants are active components of the overall food chain.There are exceptions to the theories and relationships introduced below that are beyond the scope of this discussion.Carbon is the basis of life and is present in all living things.After 50,000 years, a fossil won’t have any radiocarbon left in it.Carbon-14 will have all disappeared by radioactive decay.

Radiocarbon dating uses carbon-14 to determine the last time something (or someone) was alive.This half-life is about 5,700 years and means that every 5,700 years the amount of carbon-14 in a fossil is only one-half of what it was 5,700 years ago.It also means that if a dead plant has 50% as much carbon-14 in it than in a living plant, the dead plant was alive about 5,700 years ago.When they stop living, they stop taking in carbon-14 from the air around them, and the amount of carbon-14 in the remains gradually disappears.A radiocarbon dating laboratory is able to measure the amount of carbon-14 remaining in a fossil.

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