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The amount of carbon-14 in the air has stayed the same for thousands of years.There is a small amount of radioactive carbon-14 in all living organisms because it enters the food chain.Isotopes of a particular element have the same number of protons in their nucleus, but different numbers of neutrons.

It can be used on objects as old as about 62,000 years.

Follow the links below to learn more about radiocarbon dating. Radiocarbon dating uses carbon isotopes A special kind of radiocarbon dating: Bomb radiocarbon dating What is an isotope?

Carbon dioxide also permeates the oceans, dissolving in the water.

Plants take in atmospheric carbon dioxide by photosynthesis, and are ingested by animals.

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.

Last modified 11-Jul-2016 18:21