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Now with time, these Carbon atoms, due to very little radioactivity, change into C-14, the speed of the reaction being very very slow.
By calculating the proportion of C-12 and C-14 in an object, one can easily estimate the time when the reaction had started or in simple words, the age of the object, using simple Chemical kinetics.
They have the same ratio of carbon-14 to carbon-12 as the atmosphere, and this same ratio is then carried up the food chain all the way to apex predators, like sharks.
But when gas exchange is stopped, be it in a particular part of the body like in deposits in bones and teeth, or when the entire organism dies, the ratio of carbon-14 to carbon-12 begins to decrease.
The unstable carbon-14 gradually decays to carbon-12 at a steady rate. Scientists measure the ratio of carbon isotopes to be able to estimate how far back in time a biological sample was active or alive.
Bottom line: Radiocarbon dating is a technique used by scientists to learn the ages of biological specimens from the distant past.It’s not absolutely constant due to several variables that affect the levels of cosmic rays reaching the atmosphere, such as the fluctuating strength of the Earth’s magnetic field, solar cycles that influence the amount of cosmic rays entering the solar system, climatic changes and human activities.Among the significant events that caused a temporary but significant spike in the atmospheric carbon-14 to carbon-12 ratio were above-ground nuclear test detonations in the two decades following World War II.For example, plastic, stones, plants, animals and so on.These Carbon atoms are C-12 i.e the gram atomic mass of Carbon atom is 12.