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Radiocarbon dating (also referred to as carbon dating or carbon-14 dating ) is a method for determining the age of an object containing organic material by using the properties of radiocarbon ( 14
C ), a radioactive isotope of carbon.

Libby and James Arnold proceeded to test the radiocarbon dating theory by analyzing samples with known ages. For example, two samples taken from the tombs of two Egyptian kings, Zoser and Sneferu , independently dated to 2625 BC plus or minus 75 years, were dated by radiocarbon measurement to an average of 2800 BC plus or minus 250 years. These results were published in Science in 1949. [8] [9] Within 11 years of their announcement, more than 20 radiocarbon dating laboratories had been set up worldwide. [10]

Once produced, the 14
C quickly combines with the oxygen in the atmosphere to form carbon dioxide ( CO
2 ). Carbon dioxide produced in this way diffuses in the atmosphere, is dissolved in the ocean, and is taken up by plants via photosynthesis. Animals eat the plants, and ultimately the radiocarbon is distributed throughout the biosphere. The ratio of 14
C to 12
C is approximately 1.5 parts of 14
C to 10 12 parts of 12
C. [12] In addition, about 1% of the carbon atoms are of the stable isotope 13
C. [5]

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