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This version of our tree ring simulation replaces an earlier version that used the Flash plugin.
Radiometric dating is the method for establishing the age of objects by measuring the levels of radioisotopes in the sample. It decays to nitrogen 14 with a half life of 5730 years.
Carbon 14 is created by cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere.
C14 is continually being created and decaying, leading to an equilibrium state in the atmosphere.
As the summer goes on, temperatures cool and water becomes scarce (in some places), the xylem cells produced are small.
These late cells are called "late wood," and look dark-colored in the wood.