Now why is this interesting? I've just explained a mechanism where some of our body, even though carbon is the most common isotope, some of our body, while we're living, gets made up of this carbon thing. Now, we can integrate this by parts: You can't just say all the carbon's on the left are going to decay and all the carbon's on the right aren't going to decay in that 5, years. So carbon by definition has six protons, but the typical isotope, the most common isotope of carbon is carbon They can also be alpha particles, which is the same thing as a helium nucleus. So the rate at which this happens, so the rate of carbon decay, is essentially half disappears, half gone, in roughly 5, years.
Let's look at the periodic table over here.
Carbon 14 dating
So let me just draw the surface of the Earth like that. So most of the carbon in your body is carbon Sign up using Facebook. After 5, years, the amount of carbon 14 left in the body is half of the original amount. Radiocarbon dating can be used on samples of bone, cloth, wood and plant fibers. Math Central - mathcentral.