Carbon dating radioactive decay
Now, researchers say that the difference may come down to a still-debated idea about how much mesons weigh in atomic nuclei.
Mesons serve as carrier particles for the strong nuclear force that keeps the protons and neutrons, collectively called nucleons, together.
This agreement suggested that the attractive and repulsive components of the strong nuclear force, which are mediated by different types of mesons, are virtually in balance.
They found that their calculations for the decay of carbon-14 matched experimental values. 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.Although experimental evidence is still not definitive, some say that the high density of subatomic particles in the nucleus has a net effect on mesons, causing them to weigh less than they would in a vacuum.Beginning with a simple potential governing the interaction between pairs of nucleons, theorist Jeremy Holt of the State University of New York in Stony Brook and his colleagues used a postulate called Brown-Rho scaling to adjust for changes in meson mass.