Facts carbon 14 dating

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A child mummy is found high in the Andes and the archaeologist says the child lived more than 2,000 years ago.How do scientists know how old an object or human remains are?

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In the absence of any historical data concerning the intensity of cosmic radiation, Libby simply assumed that it had been constant.Korff predicted that the reaction between these neutrons and nitrogen-14, which predominates in the atmosphere, would produce carbon-14, also called radiocarbon.Libby cleverly realized that carbon-14 in the atmosphere would find its way into living matter, which would thus be tagged with the radioactive isotope.Libby and graduate student Ernest Anderson (1920–2013) calculated the mixing of carbon across these different reservoirs, particularly in the oceans, which constitute the largest reservoir.Their results predicted the distribution of carbon-14 across features of the carbon cycle and gave Libby encouragement that radiocarbon dating would be successful.

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