Carbon 12 dating
Atoms of the same element that have different numbers of neutrons are called isotopes. Most carbon on Earth exists as the very stable isotope carbon-12, with a very small amount as carbon-13.Here’s an example using the simplest atom, hydrogen. Carbon-14 is an unstable isotope of carbon that will eventually decay at a known rate to become carbon-12.
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Different isotopes tend to concentrate in particular organs: for example, iodine-131 settles in the thyroid gland and can reveal a variety of defects in thyroid functioning.
Another isotope, carbon-14, is useful in studying abnormalities of metabolism that underlie diabetes, gout, anemia, and acromegaly.
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The chemical properties of atoms depend on the number of protons in their nuclei, placing them into the periodic table.