Carbon dating tree ring calibration

All the other Carbon Isotopes are unstable and they degrade into something else.Notice that the farther away the Mass Number gets from 12-13, the faster they break down (The blue numbers indicate half-lives, the time it takes for one half of the atoms in a sample to break down.).Other atoms are also named based on the number of protons they carry.Notice in the diagram that eight different isotopes of Carbon are illustrated.It is produced currently at a fairly constant rate in the upper atmosphere through the action of cosmic radiation on Nitrogen-14.About 21 pounds of Nitrogen is converted each year making about 1/trillion atmospheric carbon atoms radioactive 14C.When Carbon 14 emits a beta particle, the Carbon 14 atom becomes a Nitrogen 14 Atom.Looking at the Mass Number and Atomic Number of the atoms we see that the atom has lost a neutron and gained a proton.

The rest of the carbon isotopes are only of laboratory interest.

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.

To the left side of each C (C is the symbol for Carbon) are two numbers, the bottom number indicates the Atomic Number or the number of protons in the nucleus.

Since all the atoms are carbon, they should all have an Atomic Number of 6.

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