What methods do they use and how do these methods work?
In this article, we will examine the methods by which scientists use radioactivity to determine the age of objects, most notably carbon-14 dating.
Because organisms have no way of discerning between these two isotopes, C12 and C14 from the atmosphere are indiscriminately cycled through their metabolic processes.
As a result, the ratio of C12 to C14 in the atmosphere is the same in all living things.
The product of these collisions is a radioactive form of carbon, C14.
The 6 proton 6 neutron atoms are said to have a mass of 12 and are referred to as "carbon-12." The nuclei of the remaining one percent of carbon atoms contain not six but either seven or eight neutrons in addition to the standard six protons.
This dating method is used for estimating the age of materials assumed to be about 60,000 years old or less (this limitation is related to the radioactive of carbon, see below). This dating process works by measuring the ratio of normal carbon-12 atoms (C12) to radioactive carbon-14 (C14) in the remnants of once-living plants and animals.
As the level of C14 is the critical variable, understanding the origin of this isotope is especially pertinent.
Whenever and however one thinks the Earth came into existence, C12 has been here from the beginning and has always existed on Earth as the most fundamental atomic constituent of all life forms. Unlike normal carbon isotopes, C14 is the product of a series of reactions deep in Earth’s atmosphere. When emissions from the sun enter our atmosphere they often collide with various kinds of atoms.
These reactions can result in secondary emissions of energetic neutrons which then collide into nitrogen atoms.