Why carbon-14 is not used for dating dinosaur bones


When cosmic rays enter the earth's atmosphere, they undergo various interactions with gas molecules which results in the production of fast moving neutrons. These energetic neutrons dissociate a nitrogen molecule into atoms and then reacts with these atoms to form 14 C. The reaction can be written as: [3]

The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom determines the element. For example, all carbon atoms have 6 protons, all atoms of nitrogen have 7 protons, and all oxygen atoms have 8 protons. The number of neutrons in the nucleus can vary in any given type of atom. So, a carbon atom might have six neutrons, or seven, or possibly eight—but it would always have six protons. An “isotope” is any of several different forms of an element, each having different numbers of neutrons. The illustration below shows the three isotopes of carbon.


Why carbon-14 is not used for dating dinosaur bones

Why carbon-14 is not used for dating dinosaur bones






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