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Posted by / 11-Jul-2017 23:30

The older an organism's remains are, the less beta radiation it emits because its C-14 is steadily dwindling at a predictable rate.So, if we measure the rate of beta decay in an organic sample, we can calculate how old the sample is. Question: Kieth and Anderson radiocarbon-dated the shell of a living freshwater mussel and obtained an age of over two thousand years.

This tree rarely produces even a trace of an extra ring; on the contrary, a typical bristlecone pine has up to 5 percent of its rings missing.Living organisms are constantly incorporating this C-14 into their bodies along with other carbon isotopes.When the organisms die, they stop incorporating new C-14, and the old C-14 starts to decay back into N-14 by emitting beta particles.Concerning the sequence of rings derived from the bristlecone pine, Ferguson says: In certain species of conifers, especially those at lower elevations or in southern latitudes, one season's growth increment may be composed of two or more flushes of growth, each of which may strongly resemble an annual ring.Such multiple growth rings are extremely rare in bristlecone pines, however, and they are especially infrequent at the elevation and latitude (37� 20' N) of the sites being studied.

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