What carbon dating

You might remember that it was mentioned earlier that the amount of carbon-14 in living things is the same as the atmosphere.Once they die, they stop taking in carbon-14, and the amount present starts to decrease at a constant half-life rate.

This is why radiocarbon dating is only useful for dating objects up to around 50,000 years old (about 10 half-lives).

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Carbon-14 is a radioactive isotope and is present in all living things in a constant amount.

Because of the carbon cycle, there is always carbon-14 present in both the air and in living organisms.

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