Carbon dating the age of the earth

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In order to function properly, natural clocks need an irreversible process that occurs at a constant and known rate.

Nuclear decay has a constant rate of decay, but as it turns out, the formation of C has been reliably calibrated to tens of thousands of years.

Carbon-14 is a radioactive isotope formed in the upper atmosphere.

It is constantly being produced by a system in which cosmic rays from the sun hit atoms, releasing neutrons. Carbon-14 becomes a part of the mostly homogenous mixture of air in the atmosphere.

A detailed description of radiocarbon dating is available at the Wikipedia radiocarbon dating web page.

Last modified 20-Nov-2019 15:17