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The resulting C-14 is unstable and decays back to N-14 with a measured half-life of approximately 5,730 years.Thus the ratio of stable C-12 to unstable C-14, which is known in today's open environment, changes over time in an isolated specimen. As long as the tree lives, it absorbs carbon from the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide, both C-12 and C-14.Once the Flood processes ceased, C-14 began a slow build-up to equilibrium with C-12—a build-up not yet complete.
The isotope carbon-12 has been adopted as the standard for atomic wt; carbon-14, a radioisotope with a half-life of 5700 years, is used in radiocarbon dating and as a tracer. gr.: (of diamond) 3.51 at 20°C; (of graphite) 2.26 at 20°C.Symbol: C; atomic no: 6; atomic wt: 12.011; valency: 2, 3, or 4; relative density: 1.8–2.1 (amorphous), 1.9–2.3 (graphite), 3.15–3.53 (diamond); sublimes at 3367±25°C; boiling pt: 4827°C 1. Symbol C A naturally abundant, nonmetallic element that occurs in all organic compounds and can be found in all living things. Proteins, sugars, fats, and even DNA all contain many carbon atoms.a nonmetallic element found combined with other elements in all organic matter and in a pure state as diamond and graphite. Diamonds and graphite are pure forms, and carbon is a major part of coal, petroleum, and natural gas. The element carbon is also important, however, outside the chemistry of living things.In theory, it might be useful to archaeology, but not to geology or paleontology.Furthermore, the assumptions on which it is based and the conditions which must be satisfied are questionable, and in practice, no one trusts it beyond about 3,000 or 4,000 years, and then only if it can be checked by some historical means.