Carbon 14 dating is a type of

Plants and animals assimilate carbon 14 from carbon dioxide throughout their lifetimes.

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By knowing how much carbon 14 is left in a sample, the age of the organism when it died can be known.Radiocarbon, or carbon 14, is an isotope of the element carbon that is unstable and weakly radioactive. Carbon 14 is continually being formed in the upper atmosphere by the effect of cosmic ray neutrons on nitrogen 14 atoms.It is rapidly oxidized in air to form carbon dioxide and enters the global carbon cycle.Carbon-14 is radioactive, with a half-life of about 5,700 years.For more information on cosmic rays and half-life, as well as the process of radioactive decay, see How Nuclear Radiation Works.

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