Cost of radiocarbon dating

Radiocarbon immediately reacts with oxygen in the air to form carbon dioxide (CO2).This carbon dioxide rapidly mixes throughout the atmosphere, where at ground level it is taken in by plants during photosynthesis.This process is constantly ongoing, so that at any point in time the amount of carbon-14 in living plants is the same as the amount of carbon-14 in the air around them.

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After 50,000 years, a fossil won’t have any radiocarbon left in it.

Carbon-14 will have all disappeared by radioactive decay.

Recently living materials (the biobased component) have Carbon-14 in them while fossil materials (derived from petroleum) no longer have this weakly radioactive carbon isotope.

Thus all the carbon-14 in the product comes from the biobased component.

This carbon-14 immediately starts to radioactively decay but is constantly being recreated.

This leaves the amount in the air relatively constant.

Eventually, all the carbon-14 in the remains will disappear.

This principle applies equally to a person dying, a corn stalk being cut down, or to a soybean plant being pulled out of the ground.

When they stop living, they stop taking in carbon-14 from the air around them, and the amount of carbon-14 in the remains gradually disappears.

A radiocarbon dating laboratory is able to measure the amount of carbon-14 remaining in a fossil.

Call (305) 662-7760 or fill out our sample form today if you’re ready to send samples for testing.

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