Use of isotopes in carbon dating startup message computer must be restarted before updating can continue
Two of the most common include carbon dating to discover how old fossils and other historical organic (including carbon) artifacts are and uses of radioactive isotopes in medicine.
Radioactive isotopes in medicine are used to help diagnose certain disease states and isolate regions in the body.
Carbon-14 exists at all only in carbon including man-made isotopes.
Archaeologists can use isotopes for various things including dating artifacts, understanding where artifacts come from (such as what region animals were raised in, or where resources were mined) and reconstructing past dietary habits.
Isotopes of atoms are formed by atoms that have differing numbers of neutrons. Carbon-12 contains six protons and six neutrons, carbon-13 contains six protons and seven neutrons, and carbon-14 contains six protons and eight neutrons.
Carbon-12 will have 6 protons and 6 neutrons and Carbon-14 will have 6 protons and 8 neutrons. Isotopes of Hydrogen: Hydrogen Deuterium Tritium Isotopes of Carbon: Carbon - 12 Carbon - 13 Carbon - 14 Isotopes of Uranium: Uranium - 234 Uranium - 235 Uranium - 238 Isotopes of Lithium: Lithium - 6 Lithium - 7 Isotopes of Neon: Neon - 20 Neon - 21 Neon - 22 Isotopes of Magnesium: Magnesium - 24 Magnesium - 25 Magnesium - 26 There are many many other isotopes.
After death there is no more change - except that the carbon 14 slowly decays into carbon 12. Unstable isotopes go through radioactive decay and may become stable isotopes, or (possibly) a different element.
Human remains, fossils and organic materials from archaeological sites are all dated using carbon-14.
Books, clothing and food remains are all archaeological artifacts that can be carbon dated.
This inconsistent amount of carbon-14 renders the test less accurate but opens up testing possibilities not available for older samples.
For example, it is possible to determine the age of a person born after the 1940s using the carbon-14 content of teeth.