Beta radiation carbon dating

The reason is that, as long as the organism is alive, it replaces any carbon molecule that has decayed into nitrogen.

After plants and animals perish, however, they no longer replace molecules damaged by radiocarbon decay.

Although many people think radiocarbon dating is used to date rocks, it is limited to dating things that contain the element carbon and were once alive (like fossils).

Rb)—are not being formed on earth, as far as we know.

These excited neutrons then collide with nitrogen atoms in the atmosphere, changing them into radioactive carbon-14 atoms.

If we assume that the mammoth originally had the same number of carbon- 14 atoms in its bones as living animals do today (estimated at one carbon-14 atom for every trillion carbon-12 atoms), then, because we also know the radiocarbon decay rate, we can calculate how long ago the mammoth died. This dating method is similar to the principle behind an hourglass.6 The sand grains that originally filled the top bowl represent the carbon-14 atoms in the living mammoth just before it died.

And as far as we know, it has been forming in the earth’s upper atmosphere since the atmosphere was made back on Day Two of Creation Week (part of the expanse, or firmament, described in Genesis 1:6–8). Cosmic rays from outer space are continually bombarding the upper atmosphere of the earth, producing fast-moving neutrons (subatomic particles carrying no electric charge) (Figure 1a).1 These fast-moving neutrons collide with atoms of nitrogen-14, the most abundant element in the upper atmosphere, converting them into radiocarbon (carbon-14) atoms.

CARBON-14 IS CREATED (Figure 1a): When cosmic rays bombard the earth’s atmosphere, they produce neutrons.

It’s assumed to be the same number of carbon-14 atoms as in elephants living today.

With time those sand grains fall to the bottom bowl, so the new number represents the carbon-14 atoms left in the mammoth skull when we found it.

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