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Animals and plants have a known proportion of Carbon-14 (a radioisotope of Carbon) in their tissues.
When they die they stop taking Carbon in, then the amount of Carbon-14 goes down at a known rate (Carbon-14 has a half-life of 5700 years).
Three of the Carbon isotopes (C) are found in nature.
The rest of the carbon isotopes are only of laboratory interest.
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We thank you in advance for partnering with us in this small but significant way. All methods of radioactive dating rely on three assumptions that may not necessarily be true: It is assumed that the rate of decay has remained constant over time.
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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.
You probably have seen or read news stories about fascinating ancient artifacts.
At an archaeological dig, a piece of wooden tool is unearthed and the archaeologist finds it to be 5,000 years old.
Other atoms are also named based on the number of protons they carry.