It is called 'radio'-carbon, because it is 'radioactive'.
This means that its atomic structure is not stable and there is an uneasy relationship between the particles in the nucleus of the atom itself.
Libby later received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1960 for the radiocarbon discovery.
Today, there are over 130 radiocarbon dating laboratories around the world producing radiocarbon dates for the scientific community.
The half-life refers to the amount of time it takes for half the radiocarbon in a sample of bone or shell or any carbon sample to disappear.
Libby found that it took 5568 years for half the radiocarbon to decay.
After twice that time (about 11000 years), another half of that remaining amount will have disappeared.
The aim here is to provide clear, understandable information relating to radiocarbon dating for the benefit of K12 students, as well as lay people who are not requiring detailed information about the method of radiocarbon dating itself.During the period of a plant's life, the plant is taking in carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, which is how the plant makes energy and grows.Animals eat plants, and some eat other animals in the food chain.I have tried here to answer some of the frequently asked questions that I receive from students via email, as well as providing some basic information about scientific dating methods."Everything which has come down to us from heathendom is wrapped in a thick fog; it belongs to a space of time we cannot measure.