Once an organism dies, it stops taking in carbon-14.
The carbon-14 it contained at the time of death decays over a long period of time, and the radioactivity of the material decreases.
How do scientists know how old an object or human remains are?
What methods do they use and how do these methods work?
In this article, we will examine the methods by which scientists use radioactivity to determine the age of objects, most notably carbon-14 dating.
This process, known as carbon dating, was developed by the American chemist Willard Libby in 1947 at the Institute for Nuclear Studies at Columbia University.
On this scale the proton has a mass of 1.0073 amu and the neutron a mass of 1.0087 amu. Atomic Number: The number of protons in an atomic nucleus.
Eg the hydrogen nucleus consists of a single proton, so hydrogen has atomic number 1, the carbon nucleus has 6 protons and carbon has atomic number 6.
The amount of carbon-14 in the air has stayed the same for thousands of years.
There is a small amount of radioactive carbon-14 in all living organisms because it enters the food chain.