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Radiocarbon is then taken in by plants through photosynthesis, and these plants in turn are consumed by all the organisms on the planet.

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The extra neutrons in Carbon-14’s case make it radioactive (thus the term, radiocarbon).

Radiocarbon is produced in the upper atmosphere after Nitrogen-14 isotopes have been impacted by cosmic radiation.

Looking at the graph, 100% of radiocarbon in a sample will be reduced to 50% after 5730 years.

In 11,460 years, half of the 50% will remain, or 25%, and so on.

Long tree-ring sequences have been developed throughout the world and can be used to check and calibrate radiocarbon dates.

An extensive tree-ring sequence from the present to 6700 BC was developed in Arizona using California bristlecone pine (), some of which are 4900 years old, making them the oldest living things on earth. Therefore, radiocarbon dates need to be calibrated with other dating techniques to ensure accuracy.Plants are not the only organism that can process Carbon-14 from the air.Plankton absorbs, Carbon-14 from the ocean much like terrestrial plants absorb Carbon-14 from the air.Since plankton is the foundation of the marine food chain, Carbon-14 is spread throughout aquatic life.In 1949, American chemist Willard Libby, who worked on the development of the atomic bomb, published the first set of radiocarbon dates.

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