British Broadcasting Corporation Home. Carbon is a radioactive isotope of carbon it has two extra neutrons in its nucleus making it unstable. South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology. There's a small amount of radioactive carbon in all living organisms. When they die no new carbon is taken in kn the dead organism. The carbon it contained at the time of death decays over a long period what type of elements are used in radioactive dating time. By measuring the xre of carbon left in dead organic material the approximate time since it died can be worked out.
For example, intwo hikers discovered a mummified man, preserved for centuries in the ice on an alpine mountain. Some rocks contain traces of uranium. Uranium has a very long half-life and so by measuring how much uranium is left in a rock its approximate age can be elemwnts out. Back to Radiation for life index. You're using the Internet Explorer 6 browser to view the BBC website.
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