Radiocarbon decays slowly in a living organism, and the amount lost is continually replenished as long as the organism takes in air or food. Once the organism dies, however, it ceases to absorb carbon-14, so that the amount of the radiocarbon in its tissues steadily decreases.

## Why does radioactive carbon-14 begin to decay after a plant or animal dies?

The ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-14 is the same in all living things. However, at the moment of death, the amount of carbon-14 begins to decrease because it is unstable, while the amount of carbon-12 remains constant in the sample. Half of the carbon-14 degrades every 5,730 years as indicated by its half-life.

## What happens to carbon-14 levels in a living organism after it dies quizlet?

When an animal dies, the carbon-14 continues to break down to nitrogen-14 and escapes, while no new carbon-14 is added. What causes radiocarbon atoms to be produced? The atmosphere being 78% nitrogen.

## What happens to stable carbon 12 as an organism dies?

Stable carbon 12 does nothing as an organism dies. It is not radioactive so it does not decay.

## How long will it take for 75% of the carbon-14 atoms in a biological sample to decay to nitrogen-14?

5730 years It takes 5730 years for cargon-14 to decay to nitrogen-14.

## What percent of carbon-14 would be left after 17190 years?

The currently accepted value for the half-life of 14C is 5,730 years. This means that after 5,730 years, only half of the initial 14C will remain; a quarter will remain after 11,460 years; an eighth after 17,190 years; and so on.

## How old is a mummy that has lost 49% of its carbon-14?

Consider a mummy has lost 49% of its carbon-14 in x years, the half-life of carbon-14 is 5730 years.