Carbon14dating

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If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources for Khan Academy.If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.and *.are unblocked.The researchers found that certain soft tissues — notably blood, nails and hair — had radiocarbon levels identical to the contemporary atmosphere.Therefore, the radiocarbon level in those tissues post-mortem would indicate the year of death.Barring any future nuclear detonations, this method should continue to be useful for year-of-birth determinations for people born during the next 10 or 20 years.Everyone born after that would be expected to have the same level of carbon-14 that prevailed before the nuclear testing era.

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Such insects are simply another link in the food chain.Archaeologists use the exponential, radioactive decay of carbon 14 to estimate the death dates of organic material.The stable form of carbon is carbon 12 and the radioactive isotope carbon 14 decays over time into nitrogen 14 and other particles.Radiocarbon levels in teeth formed before then contained less radiocarbon than expected, so when applied to teeth formed during that period, the method was less precise.To determine year of death, the researchers used radiocarbon levels in soft tissues.

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