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For the most part, radiocarbon dating has made a huge difference for archaeologists everywhere, but the process does have a few flaws.
These methods usually analyze physicochemical transformation phenomena whose rate are known or can be estimated relatively well.Prior to the development of radiocarbon dating, it was difficult to tell when an archaeological artifact came from.Unless something was obviously attributable to a specific year -- say a dated coin or known piece of artwork -- then whoever discovered it had to do quite a bit of guesstimating to get a proper age for the item.The ensuing atomic interactions create a steady supply of c14 that rapidly diffuses throughout the atmosphere.
Plants take up c14 along with other carbon isotopes during photosynthesis in the proportions that occur in the atmosphere; animals acquire c14 by eating the plants (or other animals).
When these energetic neutrons collide with a nitrogen-14 (seven protons, seven neutrons) atom it turns into a carbon-14 atom (six protons, eight neutrons) and a hydrogen atom (one proton, zero neutrons).