By measuring the amount of carbon-14 left in the organism, it's possible to work out how old it is.
This technique works well for materials up to around 50,000 years old.
Hydrogen, helium, oxygen,..Some materials are radioactive. Pages linked below can be used to support an introductory climate change education for either a unit or a full..Atoms and the tiny particles from which they are made strongly influence the world around us.
The fields of atomic physics and particle physics help us understand the life cycles of stars, the forms of..One main type of radiation, particle radiation, is the result of subatomic particles hurtling at tremendous speeds.
Most carbon atoms also have 6 neutrons, giving them an atomic mass of 12 ( = 6 protons 6 neutrons).
Carbon-14 has an atomic mass of 14 ( = 6 protons 8 neutrons).
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The extra neutrons make the nucleus of carbon-14 unstable. Radioactive carbon-14 (also written as C is used to determine the ages of artifacts that were once living (such as pieces of wood, teeth or bones, coral skeletons, etc.) via a technique called "carbon-14 dating" or "radiocarbon dating".
Some of the carbon dioxide gas in Earth's atmosphere contains molecules which contain carbon-14 is continuously replenished in our atmosphere.
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere contains a constant amount of carbon-14, and as long as an organism is living, the amount of carbon-14 inside it is the same as the atmosphere.
However, once the organism dies, the amount of carbon-14 steadily decreases.