Both Carbon-12 and Carbon-13 are stable, but Carbon-14 decays by very weak beta decay to nitrogen-14 with a half-life of approximately 5,730 years.
After the organism dies it stops taking in new carbon.
However, at the moment of death, the amount of carbon-14 begins to decrease because it is unstable, while the amount of carbon-12 remains constant in the sample.
Half of the carbon-14 degrades every 5,730 years as indicated by its half-life.
The rate of decay is often referred to as the activity of the isotope and is often measured in Curies (Ci), one curie = 3.700 x 10" is the initial amount of radioisotope at the beginning of the period, and "k" is the rate constant for the radioisotope being studied.
In this equation, the units of measure for N and No can be in grams, atoms, or moles.
Radiocarbon dating is a method of estimating the age of organic material.
It was developed right after World War II by Willard F.
It has been determined that the rate of radioactive decay is first order.
Age determinations can also be obtained from carbonate deposits such as calcite, dissolved carbon dioxide, and carbonates in ocean, lake, and groundwater sources.
Cosmic rays enter the earth's atmosphere in large numbers every day and when one collides with an atom in the atmosphere, it can create a secondary cosmic ray in the form of an energetic neutron.
The carbon-14 atoms combine with oxygen to form carbon dioxide, which plants absorb naturally and incorporate into plant fibers by photosynthesis.
Animals and people take in carbon-14 by eating the plants.