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Carbon-14 can be used as a radioactive tracer in medicine.
during his tenure as a professor at the University of Chicago.C, or radiocarbon, is a radioactive isotope of carbon with an atomic nucleus containing 6 protons and 8 neutrons.Its presence in organic materials is the basis of the radiocarbon dating method pioneered by Willard Libby and colleagues (1949) to date archaeological, geological and hydrogeological samples.Carbon-14 was discovered on February 27, 1940, by Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben at the University of California Radiation Laboratory in Berkeley, California.Its existence had been suggested by Franz Kurie in 1934. The primary natural source of carbon-14 on Earth is cosmic ray action on nitrogen in the atmosphere, and it is therefore a cosmogenic nuclide.Carbon dioxide also dissolves in water and thus permeates the oceans, but at a slower rate.
has been estimated to be roughly 12 to 16 years in the northern hemisphere.
Such deposits often contain trace amounts of carbon-14.
These amounts can vary significantly between samples, ranging up to 1% of the ratio found in living organisms, a concentration comparable to an apparent age of 40,000.), or other unknown secondary sources of carbon-14 production.
A calculation or (more accurately) a direct comparison of carbon-14 levels in a sample, with tree ring or cave-deposit carbon-14 levels of a known age, then gives the wood or animal sample age-since-formation.
Carbon-14 is produced in the upper layers of the troposphere and the stratosphere by thermal neutrons absorbed by nitrogen atoms.
The rates of disintegration of potassium-40 and carbon-14 in the normal adult body are comparable (a few thousand disintegrated nuclei per second).