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When they die, they stop exchanging carbon with the biosphere and their carbon 14 content then starts to decrease at a rate determined by the law of radioactive decay.

Radiocarbon dating is essentially a method designed to measure residual radioactivity.

Plants and animals assimilate carbon 14 from carbon dioxide throughout their lifetimes.This tendency to decay, called radioactivity, is what gives radiocarbon the name radiocarbon.The atmosphere contains many stable carbon atoms and relatively few radiocarbon atoms.An age could be estimated by measuring the amount of carbon-14 present in the sample and comparing this against an internationally used reference standard.The impact of the radiocarbon dating technique on modern man has made it one of the most significant discoveries of the 20th century.The foregoing article was primarily based on a discussion of radiocarbon dating found in The Biblical Chronologist Volume 5, Number 1.

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