Carbon-14 is a weakly radioactive isotope of Carbon; also known as radiocarbon, it is an isotopic chronometer. C-14 dating is only applicable to organic and some inorganic materials (not applicable to metals).
What isotope of carbon-14 is radioactive?
radiocarbon The imbalance makes carbon 14 a radioisotope with a half-life of 5,700 years, and an emitter of beta particles. This radioactive isotope of carbon is called radiocarbon.
Is carbon-14 a stable isotope?
Isotopes of Carbon Both 12C and 13C are called stable isotopes since they do not decay into other forms or elements over time. The rare carbon-14 (14C) isotope contains eight neutrons in its nucleus. Unlike 12C and 13C, this isotope is unstable, or radioactive. Over time, a 14C atom will decay into a stable product.
What happens when carbon-14 decays?
Carbon-14 is a rare version of carbon with eight neutrons. It is radioactive and decays over time. When carbon-14 decays, a neutron turns into a proton and it loses an electron to become nitrogen-14.
What are the uses of carbon 14?
The isotope also is used as a tracer in following the course of particular carbon atoms through chemical or biological transformations. In carbon-14 dating, measurements of the amount of carbon-14 present in an archaeological specimen, such as a tree, are used to estimate the specimens age.