
Carbon14 (^{14}C) is a naturallyoccurring radioactive isotope of Carbon with an atomic mass of 14, because each atom has two extra neutrons in the nucleus (8, instead of 6).
Because it occurs naturally, Carbon14 is used for radioactive dating of such things as fossils: we know its rate of decay and we have made calculations of how much has been in the atmosphere over the last 60,000 years or so, so comparing the two gives an (approximate) age of the fossil.
Anne Evans


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