Radioactive carbon dating wikipedia
Another 50 or so shorter-lived radionuclides, such as radium and radon, found on Earth, are the products of decay chains that began with the primordial nuclides, or are the product of ongoing cosmogenic processes, such as the production of carbon-14 from nitrogen-14 in the atmosphere by cosmic rays.Radionuclides may also be produced artificially in particle accelerators or nuclear reactors, resulting in 650 of these with half-lives of over an hour, and several thousand more with even shorter half-lives. Curie · Skłodowska-Curie · Davisson · Fermi · Hahn · Jensen · Lawrence · Mayer · Meitner · Oliphant · Oppenheimer · Proca · Purcell · Rabi · Rutherford · Soddy · Strassmann · Świątecki · Szilárd · Teller · Thomson · Walton · Wigner Alpha decay is one type of radioactive decay, in which an atomic nucleus emits an alpha particle, and thereby transforms (or "decays") into an atom with a mass number decreased by 4 and atomic number decreased by 2.If there are multiple particles produced during a single decay, as in beta decay, their relative angular distribution, or spin directions may not be isotropic.Decay products from a nucleus with spin may be distributed non-isotropically with respect to that spin direction.Either because of an external influence such as an electromagnetic field, or because the nucleus was produced in a dynamic process that constrained the direction of its spin, the anisotopy may be detectable.
All of these processes result in a well-defined nuclear transmutation.
Such a parent process could be a previous decay, or a nuclear reaction.), and the process produces at least one daughter nuclide.
Except for gamma decay or internal conversion from a nuclear excited state, the decay is a nuclear transmutation resulting in a daughter containing a different number of protons or neutrons (or both).
So by measuring carbon 14 levels in an organism that died long ago, researchers can figure out when it died.
The procedure of radiocarbon dating can be used for remains that are up to 50,000 years old.