Carbon dating science

While carbon is present in most living things except for a few rare exceptions, carbon daters prefer not to have sex with this carbon as "It's just awkward." Instead, many are forced to go on long expeditions, digging into mountainsides, or looking under their grandparents' beds, in search of fossils which contain carbon.However, finding a chunk of carbon is only the beginning.Dating technique which makes use of the fact that atmospheric carbon dioxide includes a consistent percentage of radioactive 14C, created by cosmic radiation.Living creatures ingest this isotope in an identical percentage.At high geomagnetic latitudes, the carbon-14 spreads evenly throughout the atmosphere and reacts with oxygen to form carbon dioxide.Carbon dioxide also permeates the oceans, dissolving in the water." Carbon daters usually respond by clearing their throats loudly and pretending not to have heard the question.After a few months of talking to the carbon, the dater will write their phone number on a piece of paper and lay it on top of the rock, then go home.

So, every living thing is constantly exchanging carbon-14 with its environment as long as it lives. The carbon in its body will remain until it decomposes or fossilizes.

The amount of carbon-14 gradually decreases through radioactive beta decay with a half-life of 5,730 years.

So, scientists can estimate the age of the fossil by looking at the level of decay in its radioactive carbon.

"All my friends were either hooking up with hydrogen or plutonium," says one activist for equal rights for carbon daters, "But I just didn't see anything attractive in those elements. It was a hunk of the stable isotope, C13, which is my favorite.

Then, one day in science class the teacher showed us a lump of pure carbon, in the form of coal. It was so...beautifully nonmetallic, so...thermally conductive..was so...comparatively unreactive under standard temperature and pressure.

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