Equation for carbon dating
Their bodies are said to be in “equilibrium” with carbon-14 in the air.Although carbon-14 is radioactively decaying away in the body, it is constantly being replaced by new photosynthesis or the ingestion of food, leaving the amount relatively constant.Animals eat plants and/or other animals; humans eat plants and animals.
It also means that if a dead plant has 50% as much carbon-14 in it than in a living plant, the dead plant was alive about 5,700 years ago.
This process is constantly ongoing, so that at any point in time the amount of carbon-14 in living plants is the same as the amount of carbon-14 in the air around them.
Living plants are active components of the overall food chain.
After 50,000 years, a fossil won’t have any radiocarbon left in it.
Carbon-14 will have all disappeared by radioactive decay.