This carbon dioxide rapidly mixes throughout the atmosphere, where at ground level it is taken in by plants during photosynthesis.
This process is constantly ongoing, so that at any point in time the amount of carbon-14 in living plants is the same as the amount of carbon-14 in the air around them.
Carbon is the basis of life and is present in all living things.
Radiocarbon, or carbon-14 (also written as C), is an isotope of carbon that is unstable and weakly radioactive.
This principle applies equally to a person dying, a corn stalk being cut down, or to a soybean plant being pulled out of the ground.
When they stop living, they stop taking in carbon-14 from the air around them, and the amount of carbon-14 in the remains gradually disappears.
When a plant stops assimilating carbon dioxide or when an animal or human being stops eating, the ingestion of carbon-14 also stops and the equilibrium is disrupted.Living plants are active components of the overall food chain.Animals eat plants and/or other animals; humans eat plants and animals.This leaves the amount in the air relatively constant.Radiocarbon immediately reacts with oxygen in the air to form carbon dioxide (CO2).
From that time forward, the only process at work in the body is radioactive decay.