taylor swift dating rules - Radiocarbon dating and how it works
So detecting the subtle change in the ratio of normal to naturally occurring radioactive carbon over just a few years is incredibly hard.But Jonas Frisén of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, says it can be done if one takes advantage of the signal left by nuclear testing, which spewed high levels of carbon-14 into the air during the Cold War.
a bad rap, what with radiation and fallout and nuclear waste and all. One of the coolest (OK, maybe the coolest) is using radioactive carbon to determine the age of old bones or plants.
To understand this, you must first understand radioactivity and decay.
The half-life of an isotope like C14 is the time it takes for half of it to decay away: in C14, every 5,730 years, half of it is gone.
So, if you measure the amount of C14 in a dead organism, you can figure out how long ago it stopped exchanging carbon with its atmosphere.
Because atmospheric carbon 14 arises at about the same rate that the atom decays, Earth's levels of carbon 14 have remained fairly constant.