14 in carbon 14 dating mean
is a technique used by scientists to learn the ages of biological specimens – for example, wooden archaeological artifacts or ancient human remains – from the distant past.It can be used on objects as old as about 62,000 years.Cosmic rays – high energy particles from beyond the solar system – bombard Earth’s upper atmosphere continually, in the process creating the unstable carbon-14. Because it’s unstable, carbon-14 will eventually decay back to carbon-12 isotopes.
Most carbon on Earth exists as the very stable isotope carbon-12, with a very small amount as carbon-13.
Carbon-14 is an unstable isotope of carbon that will eventually decay at a known rate to become carbon-12.
Follow the links below to learn more about radiocarbon dating. Radiocarbon dating uses carbon isotopes A special kind of radiocarbon dating: Bomb radiocarbon dating Although an element’s number of protons cannot change, the number of neutrons can vary slightly from each atom.
Atoms of the same element that have different numbers of neutrons are called isotopes.
Image via The Cosmic Story of Carbon-14 by Ethan Siegel, via Simon Swordy (U.Chicago), via NASA of those two isotopes in a sample.