Carbon dating summary
Carbon-14 originates in the upper atmosphere of the earth and is created when neutrons originating from solar radiation bombardment collide with nitrogen in the air.
A reaction occurs and a tiny number of these collisions convert nitrogen to carbon-14.
It then uses this information to determine the last time the fossil was respiring carbon (i.e. A radiocarbon dating lab is able to do this using the known “half-life” of carbon-14.
This carbon dioxide rapidly mixes throughout the atmosphere, where at ground level it is taken in by plants during photosynthesis.
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This discussion is a simplified introduction to radiocarbon dating.
When they stop living, they stop taking in carbon-14 from the air around them, and the amount of carbon-14 in the remains gradually disappears.
A radiocarbon dating laboratory is able to measure the amount of carbon-14 remaining in a fossil.
Eventually, all the carbon-14 in the remains will disappear.