Carbon dating worked example

Isotopes participate in the same chemical reactions but often at differing rates.

When isotopes are to be designated specifically, the chemical symbol is expanded to identify the mass (for example, C is not stable.

As a result it is always undergoing natural radioactive decay while the abundances of the other isotopes are unchanged.

The 6 proton 6 neutron atoms are said to have a mass of 12 and are referred to as "carbon-12." The nuclei of the remaining one percent of carbon atoms contain not six but either seven or eight neutrons in addition to the standard six protons.The atomic number corresponds to the number of protons in an atom.Atomic mass is a combination of the number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus.Note that, contrary to a popular misconception, carbon dating is not used to date rocks at millions of years old.Before we get into the details of how radiometric dating methods are used, we need to review some preliminary concepts from chemistry.

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Scientists use a technique called radiometric dating to estimate the ages of rocks, fossils, and the earth.

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