Topics: Carbon-14 - Wikipedia

Carbon-14 , 14 C , or radiocarbon , is a radioactive isotope of carbon with an atomic nucleus containing 6 protons and 8 neutrons. Its presence in organic materials is the basis of the radiocarbon dating method pioneered by Willard Libby and colleagues (1949) to date archaeological, geological and hydrogeological samples. Carbon-14 was discovered on February 27, 1940, by Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben at the University of California Radiation Laboratory in Berkeley, California. Its existence had been suggested by Franz Kurie in 1934. [2]

The different isotopes of carbon do not differ appreciably in their chemical properties. This resemblance is used in chemical and biological research, in a technique called carbon labeling : carbon-14 atoms can be used to replace nonradioactive carbon, in order to trace chemical and biochemical reactions involving carbon atoms from any given organic compound.

By emitting an electron and an electron antineutrino , one of the neutrons in the carbon-14 atom decays to a proton and the carbon-14 ( half-life of 5700 ± 40 years [6] ) decays into the stable (non-radioactive) isotope nitrogen-14.

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