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By throwing out electrons you produce charged particles called ions.

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The methods work because radioactive elements are unstable, and they are always trying to move to a more stable state.

This process by which an unstable atomic nucleus loses energy by releasing radiation is called radioactive decay.

When they die no new carbon-14 is taken in by the dead organism.

The unstable Carbon-14 within the organism begins to decay to form Nitrogen-14 by emitting a beta particle.

Using the half life for carbon-14 and comparing the amount of carbon-14 in on ancient artifact with the amount of carbon-14 we would expect in a fresh sample today we can date an object.

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