Carbon dating with
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Maybe one in a trillion carbon atoms are carbon-14.Signals of this kind are often used by chemists studying natural environments.A hydrocarbon found in beach sediments, for example, might derive from an oil spill or from waxes produced by plants. Along with hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur, carbon is a building block of biochemical molecules ranging from fats, proteins, and carbohydrates to active substances such as hormones.All carbon atoms have a nucleus containing six protons.
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Deemed the gold standard of archaeology, the method was developed in the late 1940s and is based on the idea that radiocarbon (carbon 14) is being constantly created in the atmosphere by cosmic rays which then combine with atmospheric oxygen to form CO2, which is then incorporated into plants during photosynthesis.