C4 carbon 14 carbon dating
In that same year, I had my cultural and mystical awakenings.
Typically the number of neutral neutrons in the nucleus is equal to the number of protons.Perhaps we should take this opportunity to review some of the basic science behind the study of C plants as they relate to human evolution. With its four valence electrons, Carbon (C) is quite suited to act as the backbone in the molecules that are the foundation of life as we know it (proteins, the nucleic acids of DNA, lipids, etc.).Carbon exists naturally in three forms (or isotopes).Carbon Fixation We should probably go back to our high school science classes, all the way back to the chapter on photosynthesis.This is the biochemical process by which plants use the sun’s energy, water (HC, but this “fractionation” is less severe.In the case of isotopes, the number of neutrons is variable.
If an isotope is stable, then unless some outside force acts upon it, this isotope will sit around and do its thing, stably, forever. They will emit energy in the form of ionizing radiation until this instability is sufficiently resolved.
As research on early hominin diets progresses, using stable isotope analysis as well as dental microwear analysis, we are finding that perhaps our early ancestors consumed more C plants than earlier thought.
So, this begs the question, what exactly did they eat?
This is all due to the manner in which these plants fix carbon.
The biochemical pathways have differing affinities for the lighter and heavier isotopes.
It takes in the thousands of years for this isotope to decay into a stable nitrogen atom (C remaining in non-living biological material and comparing these numbers to known values of the environment, one can estimate the age of this material.