Dictionary definition carbon dating
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He first noted that the cells of all living things contain atoms taken in from the organism's environment, including carbon; all organic compounds contain carbon.
Most carbon consists of the isotopes carbon 12 and carbon 13, which are very stable.
A very small percentage of carbon, however, consists of the isotope carbon 14, or , which is unstable.
Carbon 14 has a half-life of 5,780 years, and is continuously created in Earth's atmosphere through the interaction of nitrogen and gamma rays from outer space.
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