Myths about carbon dating

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Most nitrogen atoms have seven protons and seven neutrons, so their atomic mass is 7 7 = 14.The fact that it has seven protons is what makes it nitrogen.So, we have a “clock” which starts ticking the moment something dies.Obviously, this works only for things which were once living.Since protons and neutrons weigh about the same, the atomic mass of ordinary carbon is 6 6 = 12.

In reality, you need to wake up and smell the coffee.By the year 2100, the atmosphere will have a radiocarbon age of 2,000 years old. If Graven's calculations are correct, carbon dating as we know it today will no longer be reliable by the year 2030.Which means scientists won’t be able to use carbon dating to distinguish between new materials and artifacts that are hundreds or thousands of years old.“Seldom has a single discovery in chemistry had such an impact on the thinking in so many fields of human endeavour,” one of Libby's colleagues wrote at the time, according to the Nobel Foundation.Today, carbon dating is used so widely as to be taken for granted.

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