Specifically, each nucleus will lose an electron, a process which is referred to as decay.
This rate of decay, thankfully, is constant, and can be easily measured in terms of ‘half-life’.
However, in the 1960s, the growth rate was found to be significantly higher than the decay rate; almost a third in fact.
However, a little more knowledge about the exact ins and outs of carbon dating reveals that perhaps it is not quite as fool-proof a process as we may have been led to believe.
At its most basic level, carbon dating is the method of determining the age of organic material by measuring the levels of carbon found in it.
It has been summed up most succinctly in the words of American neuroscience Professor Bruce Brew: that samples of moss could be brought back to life after being frozen in ice. That carbon dating deemed the moss to have been frozen for over 1,500 years.
Now, if this carbon dating agrees with other evolutionary methods of determining age, the team could have a real discovery on their hands.