Carbon 14 dating service

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Recall that atoms are the basic building blocks of matter.

Atoms are made up of much smaller particles called protons, neutrons, and electrons.

So, a carbon atom might have six neutrons, or seven, or possibly eight—but it would always have six protons.

An “isotope” is any of several different forms of an element, each having different numbers of neutrons.

If this assumption is not true, then the method will give incorrect dates. If the production rate of C in a specimen difficult or impossible to accurately determine. Willard Libby, the founder of the carbon-14 dating method, assumed this ratio to be constant.

This would result in a smaller production of The cause for the long term variation of the C-14 level is not known.

The illustration below shows the three isotopes of carbon.

Some isotopes of certain elements are unstable; they can spontaneously change into another kind of atom in a process called “radioactive decay.” Since this process presently happens at a known measured rate, scientists attempt to use it like a “clock” to tell how long ago a rock or fossil formed.

The atomic number corresponds to the number of protons in an atom.

Atomic mass is a combination of the number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus.

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