Carbon dating radioactive
Note that, contrary to a popular misconception, carbon dating is not used to date rocks at millions of years old.Before we get into the details of how radiometric dating methods are used, we need to review some preliminary concepts from chemistry.
Many people have been led to believe that radiometric dating methods have proved the earth to be billions of years old.
Recall that atoms are the basic building blocks of matter.
Atoms are made up of much smaller particles called protons, neutrons, and electrons.
As a result it is always undergoing natural radioactive decay while the abundances of the other isotopes are unchanged.
Carbon-14 is most abundant in atmospheric carbon dioxide because it is constantly being produced by collisions between nitrogen atoms and cosmic rays at the upper limits of the atmosphere.