Hazards of carbon dating

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Once the organism dies, the amount of carbon-14 reduces by the fixed half-life - or the time required for half of the original sample of radioactive nuclei to decay - of 5,730 years, and can be measured by scientists for up to 10 half-lives.Measuring the amount of radioactive carbon-14 remaining makes it possible to work out how old the artifact is, whether it's a fossilized skeleton or a magnificent piece of artwork.Atmospheric carbon-14 rapidly reacts with oxygen in air to form carbon dioxide and enters the carbon cycle.

Once they die, they stop taking in carbon-14, and the amount present starts to decrease at a constant half-life rate.

It is often used on valuable artwork to confirm authenticity.

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