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Once an organism is decoupled from these cycles (i.e., death), then the carbon-14 decays until essentially gone.
In 1940 Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben at the University of California, Berkeley Radiation Laboratory did just that.
Emilio Segrè asserted in his autobiography that Enrico Fermi suggested the concept to Libby at a seminar in Chicago that year.
Libby estimated that the steady-state radioactivity concentration of exchangeable carbon-14 would be about 14 disintegrations per minute (dpm) per gram.
The entire process of Radiocarbon dating depends on the decay of carbon-14.
This process begins when an organism is no longer able to exchange Carbon with their environment.
Carbon-14 is first formed when cosmic rays in the atmosphere allow for excess neutrons to be produced, which then react with Nitrogen to produce a constantly replenishing supply of carbon-14 to exchange with organisms.