Radiocarbon dating easy explanation
Once the lava solidifies the molecular/crystaline structure becomes locked.
But some Potassium isotopes will decay over time to Argon anyway.
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Furthermore we know the rate of decay of Potassium because the decay process gives off a charged particle.
So you can set up detectors on raw Potassium and just measure this decay rate directly.
Along with hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur, carbon is a building block of biochemical molecules ranging from fats, proteins, and carbohydrates to active substances such as hormones.
All carbon atoms have a nucleus containing six protons.
Since carbon is fundamental to life, occurring along with hydrogen in all organic compounds, the detection of such an isotope might form the basis for a method to establish the age of ancient materials.