Materials that originally came from living things, such as wood and natural fibres, can be dated by measuring the amount of carbon they contain. Radiocarbon dating example example, intwo hikers discovered a mummified man, preserved for centuries in the ice on an alpine mountain. Carbon is a radioactive isotope. It is found in the air in carbon dioxide molecules.
The amount of carbon in the air has stayed the same for thousands of years. There is a small amount of radiocarbon dating example carbon in all living organisms because it enters the food chain. Radiocarbon dating example an organism dies, it stops taking in carbon The carbon it contained at the time of death decays over a long period of time, and the radioactivity of the material decreases. The approximate time since the organism died can be worked out by measuring the amount of carbon left in its remains compared to the amount in living organisms.
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