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Protons and neutrons make up the center (nucleus) of the atom, and electrons form shells around the nucleus.
The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom determines the element.
The atomic number corresponds to the number of protons in an atom.
Atomic mass is a combination of the number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus.
This would result in a smaller production of The cause for the long term variation of the C-14 level is not known.
So, a carbon atom might have six neutrons, or seven, or possibly eight—but it would always have six protons.
An “isotope” is any of several different forms of an element, each having different numbers of neutrons.
Note that, contrary to a popular misconception, carbon dating is not used to date rocks at millions of years old.
Before we get into the details of how radiometric dating methods are used, we need to review some preliminary concepts from chemistry.