Carbon dating process infornation mack 10 dating

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Recall from Section 1.5 "The Atom" that the nuclei of most atoms contain neutrons as well as protons.

Unlike protons, the number of neutrons is not absolutely fixed for most elements. All isotopes of an element have the same number of protons and electrons, which means they exhibit the same chemistry.

Some of the symbols used for elements that have been known since antiquity are derived from historical names that are no longer in use; only the symbols remain to remind us of their origin. Examples are in Table 1.4 "Element Symbols Based on Names No Longer in Use".

As you work through this text, you will encounter the names and symbols of the elements repeatedly, and much as you become familiar with characters in a play or a film, their names and symbols will become familiar.

B Calculate the mass number of each isotope by adding together the numbers of protons and neutrons.

An isotope of any element can be uniquely represented as C is not stable, however, but undergoes a slow radioactive decay that is the basis of the carbon-14 dating technique used in archaeology (see Chapter 14 "Chemical Kinetics").

Because atoms are much too small to measure individually and do not have a charge, there is no convenient way to accurately measure .

The technique is conceptually similar to the one Thomson used to determine the mass-to-charge ratio of the electron.

The isotopes of an element differ only in their atomic mass, which is given by the , the sum of the numbers of protons and neutrons.

The element carbon (C) has an atomic number of 6, which means that all neutral carbon atoms contain 6 protons and 6 electrons.

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An element with three stable isotopes has 82 protons.