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During the period of a plant's life, the plant is taking in carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, which is how the plant makes energy and grows.
Animals eat plants, and some eat other animals in the food chain.
It is called 'radio'-carbon, because it is 'radioactive'.
Today, there are over 130 radiocarbon dating laboratories around the world producing radiocarbon dates for the scientific community.They used pottery and other materials in sites to date 'relatively'.They thought that sites which had the same kinds of pots and tools would be the same age.In the 1940s, scientists succeeded in finding out how long it takes for radiocarbon to disappear, or decay, from a sample of carbon from a dead plant or animal.Willard Libby, the principal scientist, had worked in the team making the nuclear bomb during World War 2, so he was an expert in nuclear and atomic chemistry.