Errors are feared in carbon dating
Seagrass plants have an excellent capacity for taking up and storing carbon in the oxygen-depleted seabed, where it decomposes much slower than on land.This oxygen-free sediment traps the carbon in the dead plant material which may then remain buried for hundreds of years.Some isotopes of certain elements are unstable; they can spontaneously change into another kind of atom in a process called “radioactive decay.” Since this process presently happens at a known measured rate, scientists attempt to use it like a “clock” to tell how long ago a rock or fossil formed.
They just didn’t know how big it was, nor how fish affect the Carbon-14 contents in the clay vessels that they were prepared in.
The number of neutrons in the nucleus can vary in any given type of atom.
So, a carbon atom might have six neutrons, or seven, or possibly eight—but it would always have six protons.
Atoms are made up of much smaller particles called protons, neutrons, and electrons.
Protons and neutrons make up the center (nucleus) of the atom, and electrons form shells around the nucleus.