What machine is used to do carbon dating

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Since the atmosphere is composed of about 78 percent nitrogen,2 a lot of radiocarbon atoms are produced—in total about 16.5 lbs. These rapidly combine with oxygen atoms (the second most abundant element in the atmosphere, at 21 percent) to form carbon dioxide (CO This carbon dioxide, now radioactive with carbon-14, is otherwise chemically indistinguishable from the normal carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is slightly lighter because it contains normal carbon-12.Radioactive and non-radioactive carbon dioxide mix throughout the atmosphere, and dissolve in the oceans.It’s assumed to be the same number of carbon-14 atoms as in elephants living today.

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We can calibrate an hourglass clock by timing the falling sand grains against a mechanical or electronic clock.

The most well-known of all the radiometric dating methods is radiocarbon dating.

Although many people think radiocarbon is used to date rocks, it is limited to dating things that contain carbon and were once alive (fossils).

(This 5,730 year period is called the half-life of radiocarbon, figure 5).6 At this decay rate, hardly any carbon-14 atoms will remain after only 57,300 years (or ten half-lives). The decay of radiocarbon follows the exponential decay law, whereby the percentage decrease in the number of parent atoms per unit time is constant.

After each half-life of 5,730 years, the number of parent radiocarbon atoms remaining is halved.

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