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Radioactive carbon dating is a technique that scientists used for measuring the

age of the biological specimens. Throughout the isotope definition to understand more

the radioactive carbon dating: An isotopes is different forms that we call for the same

element. In addition, an atom has two different isotopes, we can find it has a same

number of the proton but different number of neutrons. The radiocarbon dating uses

carbon isotopes which is relies on the carbon isotopes carbon-14 and carbon-12.

First of all, overview of the carbon isotopes carbon-12 and carbon-14. The only

one thing we see the difference between carbon-12 and carbon-14 that is the number of

neutrons in each atom. According to an article the difference between C-12 and C-14:

“Although neutrons do not carry an electrical charge, they have a mass comparable to

that of protons, so different isotopes have different atomic weight.” (Anne Helmenstine,

Ph.D). Therefore, the atomic weight of carbon-14 will be greater than carbon-12.

Moreover, the difference of number of neutrons will make C-12 and C-14 differ with

respect to radioactivity. Contrast C-12 is stable isotope, C-14 undergoes radioactive

decay. According to an article Carbon dating by Thomas Higham, we can calculate the

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natural abundance percentage of carbon-12 and carbon-14. Furthermore, Because

Carbon-14 undergoes radioactive decay, so C-14 occurs a very small quantity. On the

other hand, carbon-12 is stable so it occurs on the earth is 99%. This is overview of the

carbon isotopes that specify carbon-12 and carbon-14.

Second, carbon isotopes which is carbon-14 in nature. Carbon-14 is created in

the atmosphere. According to an article carbon-14dating works: ” Carbon-14 is

produced in the upper layers of the troposphere and the stratosphere by thermal

neutrons absorbed by nitrogen atoms.” (Marshall brain). Beside, carbon-14 becomes

carbon dioxide because of the combination between C-14 and oxygen to form carbon

dioxide. Moreover, carbon dioxide is naturally absorbed by plants and incorporate into

plant fibers by photosynthesis. Therefore, people and animal eat plant and also take in

carbon-14. Based on an article dating a fossil by Marshall Brian: “The ratio of carbon-12

to carbon-14 at the moment of death is the same as every other living thing, but the

carbon-14 decays and is not replaced. The carbon-14 decays with its half-life of 5,700

years, while the amount of carbon-12 remains constant in the sample”. By considering

the ratio of carbon-12 and carbon-14 in the sample to see the Life form, it mean able to

determine the age of a living thing.

In short, carbon-14 dating is a method for determining the age of the object

contain organic material. In fact, radiocarbon dating is constantly created in the

atmosphere that is interaction between cosmic ray and atmospheric nitrogen. Even

Though living things have carbon in them; but a small amount of that carbon is

radioactive.

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