Carbon 14 Essay

1807 words - 7 pages

Carbon-14On Earth, Carbon has two stable (nonradioactive) isotopes which are carbon-12 and carbon-13 and one unstable isotope which is carbon-14. The numbers 12, 13 and 14 represent the atomic mass of the respective isotopes (the quantity that shows the number of protons added to the number of neutrons the atom possesses) (Bydlon, N.D.). Carbon-14, also known as radiocarbon, is a radioactive isotope of carbon which contains a nucleus with 6 protons and 8 neutrons (Staff of Science Daily, N.D.). Isotopes are atoms of the same element that have different numbers of neutrons but the same number of protons; the different possible versions of each element are then called isotopes.There are two types of isotopes: stable isotopes and radioactive isotopes. Stable isotopes are isotopes that have a stable proton neutron combination and so do not show any signs of decay, this is caused by the amount of neutrons present in the atom (Staff of NOSAMS, N.D.). Radioactive isotopes are those isotopes that have an unstable proton-neutron combination. These isotopes decay, emitting certain types of radiation such as beta, alpha or gamma rays. Since Radiocarbon's neutron to proton ratio is not stable or equal and too immense the nucleus emits beta particles/rays which later on convert to nitrogen-14, making Carbon-14 a radioactive isotope.Carbon-14/Radiocarbon was discovered on the 27th of February, 1940 by Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben at the University of California Radiation Laboratory, in Berkeley, although its existence had been suggested by Franz Kurie in 1934 (Staff of Science Daily, N.D.). Carbon-14 can be naturally produced in the atmosphere when cosmic rays enter the earth's atmosphere, rarely one of these cosmic rays collides with an atom, creating a secondary cosmic ray in the form of a energetic neutron and if this energetic neutron collides with a nitrogen atom, the nitrogen atom (nitrogen-14) with seven protons and seven neutrons would turn into a carbon-14 atom with six protons and eight neutrons (Brain, N.D.). Therefore the abundance of 14C varies from 0.0000000001% to 0%. Radiocarbon can also be created by other neutron reactions such as with thermal neutrons, fast neutrons and the production by thermal neutron irradiation. Carbon-14 can also be found in living organisms because carbon-14 atoms combine with oxygen to later on form carbon dioxide, which plants absorb for photosynthesis and then animals and humans eat these plants and take in carbon-14 as well (Brain, N.D.).Carbon-14 is used in the important process of radiocarbon dating (carbon dating). Carbon dating is a radiometric dating (technique used to date materials such as rocks) technique that uses the decay of carbon-14 to estimate the age of organic materials, such as wood, leather or fossil fuels, up to about 58,000 to 62,000 years (Staff of NDT Resource Center, N.D.). Radiocarbon dating was introduced to the world of science and anthropology by Willard Libby in 1949. He was awarded the...

Find Another Essay On Carbon 14

Carbon Credits & Forestry - Analyzing the ITC Khammam Initiative

3997 words - 16 pages Kyoto Protocol - Basis For Defining Carbon CreditsKyoto Protocol is an agreement made under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Third Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted the Kyoto Protocol in Kyoto, Japan in December 1997, opened for signature on March 16, 1998, and closed on March 15, 1999. The agreement came into force on February 16, 2005

Radiocarbon Dating: Merits and Drawbacks Essay

2561 words - 10 pages radiocarbon dating works. The process of radiocarbon dating is a fairly simple one understood in most high school chemistry classes. Nitrogen in the upper atmosphere is bombarded by cosmic rays and stray neutrons then combine with the nitrogen and knock off a proton, forming the radioactive isotope carbon-14, or radiocarbon. The radiocarbon then forms 14CO2 or carbon-14 dioxide. Plants and animals are always inhaling carbon dioxide and

Fossil Fuel Consumption, Co2 And Its Impact On Global Climate

1466 words - 6 pages relatively low, the wavelengths of the terrestrial radiation are now in the infrared (l=4-20 mm). Carbon dioxide strongly absorbs radiation in the 7 to 14-mm wavelength region, which overlaps with the peak of intensity of the outgoing radiation. The net effect of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is to prevent some of the thermal energy from escaping from the earth; hence, it leads to a heating of the atmosphere. In general, the more carbon dioxide in

Fossil Fuel Consumption, CO2 and its impact on Global Climate

1579 words - 6 pages (l=4-20 mm). Carbon dioxide strongly absorbs radiation in the 7 to 14-mm wavelength region, which overlaps with the peak of intensity of the outgoing radiation. The net effect of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is to prevent some of the thermal energy from escaping from the earth; hence, it leads to a heating of the atmosphere. In general, the more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the more heat that will be trapped, and a warmer atmosphere

Carbon Prices

1629 words - 7 pages a greater concern to investors was Alberta’s massive labor shortage that was predicted by the Conference Board of Canada to be 330,000 workers in 2025.5 Between 1990 and 2004 Syncrude had a 14% decrease in GHG per barrel3. The increases in demand during the oil boom made Suncor expand production. This resulted in Suncor increasing its overall carbon footprint. In 2007, Alberta announced SGER (Specified Gas Emitters Regulation) which placed a

Refuting Evolution

1182 words - 5 pages some of the dating methods, like carbon-14, but these dating methods themselves are gravely inaccurate, and yet are presented as infallible evolutionary fact. While there are many that can be used, there are two primary methods generally accepted by scientists: radiometric, and radiocarbon dating. Radiometric dating relys on the decay processes of certain elements, like how uranium changes into lead over a very long period of time. These methods


1194 words - 5 pages OCEAN ACIDIFICATION- ESSAYTHURSDAY, JANUARY 24TH, 2012Covering more than 70 percent of the Earth's surface, the ocean is one of planet Earth's most distinguishing characteristics. Over recent years, human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels have increased the amount of carbon dioxide gas emitted to the atmosphere and the amount that dissolves into the ocean. Now, so much carbon dioxide has been absorbed by the ocean that the chemistry

How to Be Successful at Composting

1581 words - 6 pages . Composting is a biological process for converting organic solid wastes into a stable humus like product. Within a compost pile, microorganisms attack organic substance, breaking it down and producing rich organic matter (Golueke,13). For this to occur, several things need to take place, two of which are a proper pH balance, and the correct carbon to nitrogen ratio. The level of hydrogen ions in a solution, a measure of its relative acidity or

Automobile Emissions, CO and Asthma

2605 words - 10 pages problems, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has established air quality standards to protect our health Asthma is an illness that causes the airways of the lungs to swell and narrow, leading to wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, toxic gas produced from the vehicle's exhaust as a result of imperfect burning. It constrains with the blood's ability to carry oxygen to the

We Must Prevent Climate Change

1243 words - 5 pages that is almost entirely dependent on carbon dioxide producing technology. This has caused the single biggest problem when it comes to curbing this issue known as climate change. That problem is the simple fact that in order for the people to make a positive unified change in the C02 levels they produce, they’re going to have to make sacrifices. These sacrifices range from giving up or reducing their use of various CO2 producing technologies, to

The Science of Radiocarbon Dating

1925 words - 8 pages high–energy particles (mostly protons) hit nitrogen atoms, Carbon 14 (C-14) is created. The nitrogen atom (atomic number 7) has an atomic mass of 14 (with 7 protons and 7 neutrons). When the nucleus of the nitrogen is hit by the cosmic ray’s neutrons, the atomic number of the atom decreases by one. The make-up of its atomic mass changes, a proton is emitted and the neutrons are increased by one; therefore, the atomic mass number stays the same

Similar Essays

Carbon Tax Vs. Cap And Trade

1724 words - 7 pages . 2013. Carbon Tax Center. 08 Mar. 2014 . 3. Conniff, Richard. "The Political History of Cap and Trade." Smithsonian Magazine Aug. 2009: 1-4. Smithsonian. Aug. 2009. SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE. 09 Mar. 2014 . 4. Miller, John. "Can Cap-and-Trade Actually Reduce World Carbon Emissions?" RSS. 14 Nov. 2012. The Energy

Hydrophobic Property Of Carbon Nanotubes Essay

2243 words - 9 pages . Print. Benson, Tom. "Forces on an Airplane." Forces on an Airplane. NASA, n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2014. Rupke, Eqward J. "What Happens When Lightning Strikes an Airplane?" Scientific American Global RSS. Scientific American, 14 Aug. 2006. Web. 07 Mar. 2014. "Why Not Make More Cars Now with Carbon Fiber? - Curiosity." Curiosity. Discovery Network, n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2014.

Effects Of Enhanced Concentration Of Carbon Dioxide On Plants

1306 words - 5 pages researched had mentioned how they found larger leaves when the plants were exposed to a high concentration of carbon dioxide.14 As of right now, the average amount of carbon dioxide that plants are getting is 367.0 ppm. Comparing that amount to the amount of carbon dioxide that was released inside of the tank by the dry ice is a difference of about 68,000 ppm. Also recorded, was the carbon dioxide level under ambient conditions. I found it to be

Will China's Rise Ruin Business In The Rest Of Asia?

1099 words - 4 pages Thai investors, set up in 1978. It has since become the largest carbon black producer in Southeast Asia, with output of 160,000 tonnes.The company just qualified for a spot on our Best Under a Billion list--its third such mention since 2000. Since the Asian financial crisis of 1997, the company has gone from a loss of $33 million to a net profit of $14 million on sales that have remained steady at around $80 million. Long-term debt has been cut