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What is the source of carbon-14 in our environment? Why do all living organisms contain

Introductory Chemistry | 5th Edition | ISBN: 9780321910295 | Authors: Nivaldo J Tro ISBN: 9780321910295 34

Solution for problem 28Q Chapter 17

Introductory Chemistry | 5th Edition

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Introductory Chemistry | 5th Edition | ISBN: 9780321910295 | Authors: Nivaldo J Tro

Introductory Chemistry | 5th Edition

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Problem 28Q

Problem 28Q

What is the source of carbon-14 in our environment? Why do all living organisms contain a uniform amount of carbon-14?

Step-by-Step Solution:
Step 1 of 3

Solution 28Q:

Here, we are going to discuss about the source of carbon-14 in our environment. Also, we are going to discuss why all living organisms contain a uniform amount of carbon-14.

Step1:

Carbon-14 is mainly formed by the bombardment of molecules of gas in the earth’s atmosphere by the cosmic rays. This results in the formation of free neutrons which then combine with nitrogen-14 atoms to become carbon-14.

Nitrogen-14 + Neutron → Carbon-14 + Proton

N + n → C + H

Step2:

The carbon-14 formed, is oxidized quickly to form carbon dioxide(CO2). The carbon dioxide molecules containing these carbon-14 are mixed together with the other carbon dioxide molecules in the atmosphere. These are then, used by the plants during photosynthesis to produce sugars. Animals eat plants and so those carbon-14 atoms get spread in the living things in the same proportions. 

Thus, all living organisms contain a uniform amount of carbon-14.

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Step 2 of 3

Chapter 17, Problem 28Q is Solved
Step 3 of 3

Textbook: Introductory Chemistry
Edition: 5
Author: Nivaldo J Tro
ISBN: 9780321910295

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What is the source of carbon-14 in our environment? Why do all living organisms contain