One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A radioactive isotope of carbon.
- ‘These data were compared with the distribution of radiocarbon in free glucose and fructose isolated from the same sample.’
- ‘Living organisms acquire a characteristic minor fraction of radiocarbon by equilibrating with the carbon dioxide of ambient air or surrounding waters.’
- ‘Dark Age people might possibly have been burning very old wood, if they'd found it in a bog, and in that case radiocarbon would date the growth of the tree, not the time if its burning.’
- ‘Some of these neutrons react with nitrogen atoms in air, converting them into a radioactive isotope of carbon: carbon - 14 or radiocarbon, with eight neutrons in each nucleus.’
- ‘Also contamination of an object with more recent radiocarbon, leading to an inaccurate date, is always a threat and difficult to detect.’
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