Chemistry help carbon 14 dating trouble updating iphone 3gs
Cosmic rays enter the earth's atmosphere in large numbers every day.
For example, every person is hit by about half a million cosmic rays every hour.
The carbon-14 atoms are always decaying, but they are being replaced by new carbon-14 atoms at a constant rate.
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However, they usually lack precision due to measurements of carbon-14 in stalagmites being skewed by a significant fraction of ‘dead carbon’ – essentially non-radioactive carbon which dilutes carbon-14 readings.
Hai Cheng at Xi’an Jiaotong University, China, and colleagues in the US previously discovered that a stalagmite in Hulu Cave in China showed unusually low and stable amounts of dead carbon that allowed for accurate carbon-14 calibration between around 27,000 and 10,500 years ago.