Validity and accuracy of carbon dating
The number of neutrons in the nucleus can vary in any given type of atom.
So, a carbon atom might have six neutrons, or seven, or possibly eight—but it would always have six protons.
Organisms capture a certain amount of carbon-14 from the atmosphere when they are alive.
By measuring the ratio of the radio isotope to non-radioactive carbon, the amount of carbon-14 decay can be worked out, thereby giving an age for the specimen in question.
Many people have been led to believe that radiometric dating methods have proved the earth to be billions of years old.
Note that, contrary to a popular misconception, carbon dating is not used to date rocks at millions of years old.
She will lead efforts to combine the Lake Suigetsu measurements with marine and cave records to come up with a new standard for carbon dating.