Carbon 14 dating denotes amount

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Libby later received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1960: (From Taylor, 1987).Today, there are over 130 radiocarbon dating laboratories around the world producing radiocarbon assays for the scientific community.Once an organism is dead, however, no new carbon is actively absorbed by its tissues, and its carbon 14 gradually decays.Libby thus reasoned that by measuring carbon 14 levels in the remains of an organism that died long ago, one could estimate the time of its death.

Plants and animals which utilise carbon in biological foodchains take up 14C during their lifetimes.Nyerup's words illustrate poignantly the critical power and importance of dating; to order time.Radiocarbon dating has been one of the most significant discoveries in 20th century science.Carbon 14 has a half-life of 5,780 years, and is continuously created in Earth's atmosphere through the interaction of nitrogen and gamma rays from outer space.Because atmospheric carbon 14 arises at about the same rate that the atom decays, Earth's levels of carbon 14 have remained fairly constant.

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