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However, the principle of carbon-14 dating applies to other isotopes as well.Potassium-40 is another radioactive element naturally found in your body and has a half-life of 1.3 billion years.Half-life is the amount of time it takes for half of the parent isotopes to decay. In another 5,730 years, the organism will lose another half of the remaining C-14 isotopes.This process continues over time, with the organism losing half of the remaining C-14 isotopes each 5,730 years.The carbon-14 decays with its half-life of 5,700 years, while the amount of carbon-12 remains constant in the sample.

The ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-14 at the moment of death is the same as every other living thing, but the carbon-14 decays and is not replaced.The mass spectrometer is able to give information about the type and amount of isotopes found in the rock.Scientists find the ratio of parent isotope to daughter isotope.Fossils are collected along with rocks that occur from the same strata.These samples are carefully cataloged and analyzed with a mass spectrometer.