Carbon dating at
As I often say during Facebook arguments: link, or it didn’t happen. Our flagship program is called the Peer Revue, where we teach scientists to perform stand-up comedy then throw them on stage in front of a live audience.
The unstable carbon-14 gradually decays to carbon-12 at a steady rate. Scientists measure the ratio of carbon isotopes to be able to estimate how far back in time a biological sample was active or alive.
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Radio carbon dating determines the age of ancient objects by means of measuring the amount of carbon-14 there is left in an object.
It can be used on objects as old as about 62,000 years. Atoms of the same element that have different numbers of neutrons are called isotopes. Most carbon on Earth exists as the very stable isotope carbon-12, with a very small amount as carbon-13.
Here’s an example using the simplest atom, hydrogen. Carbon-14 is an unstable isotope of carbon that will eventually decay at a known rate to become carbon-12.