Definition of carbon dating for kids

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It is even used to make black ink for printers and painting.Graphite is often used in making batteries, brakes, and lubricants.

How do scientists know how old an object or human remains are?

One of the key characteristics of carbon is its ability to make long chains of molecules through linking up with other carbon atoms. It is a major element in many rock formations such as limestone and marble.

Carbon also has the highest melting point of all the elements. It is found in its allotropic forms of diamond, graphite, and amorphous carbon throughout the world. Carbon is used in some way in most every industry in the world.

A very small percentage of carbon, however, consists of the isotope carbon 14, or , which is unstable.

Carbon 14 has a half-life of 5,780 years, and is continuously created in Earth's atmosphere through the interaction of nitrogen and gamma rays from outer space.

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