The variation is certainly partially the result of a change in the cosmic ray production rate of radiocarbon.
The cosmic-ray flux, and hence the production rate of C-14, is a function not only of the solar activity but also of the magnetic dipole moment of the Earth.4Though complex, this history of the earth’s magnetic field agrees with Barnes’ basic hypothesis, that the field has always freely decayed....
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.
Recall that atoms are the basic building blocks of matter.
Atoms are made up of much smaller particles called protons, neutrons, and electrons.
It cannot be used directly to date rocks; however, it can potentially be used to put time constraints on some inorganic material such as diamonds (diamonds could contain carbon-14). Cosmic rays from outer space, which contain high levels of energy, bombard the earth’s upper atmosphere.