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Physicists explain the long, useful lifetime of carbon-14


In a tour de force of computational nuclear physics, a team of American and Canadian physicists have demonstrated in a recent paper in Physical Review Letters that three-nucleon forces cancel much of the pairwise forces in the carbon-14 nucleus, and that this extends the half-life of carbon-14 by many orders of magnitude. The long, slow decay of carbon-14 allows archaeologists to accurately date the relics of history back to 60,000 years. more

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