Question: How do you explain carbon dating to a child?

Carbon dating is a way of telling the age of a once living thing by measuring the amount of carbon inside of it. Carbon is an element that is found in every living thing on planet Earth.

How do you explain carbon dating?

The basis of radiocarbon dating is simple: all living things absorb carbon from the atmosphere and food sources around them, including a certain amount of natural, radioactive carbon-14. When the plant or animal dies, they stop absorbing, but the radioactive carbon that theyve accumulated continues to decay.

What is the explanation why carbon dating works?

Radiocarbon dating works by comparing the three different isotopes of carbon. Isotopes of a particular element have the same number of protons in their nucleus, but different numbers of neutrons. This means that although they are very similar chemically, they have different masses.

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