Calculate age using radiocarbon dating

Posted by / 22-Mar-2017 15:19

Radiocarbon dating is a method of estimating the age of organic material.

It was developed right after World War II by Willard F.

To measure the amount of radiocarbon left in a artifact, scientists burn a small piece to convert it into carbon dioxide gas.

Radiation counters are used to detect the electrons given off by decaying Carbon-14 as it turns into nitrogen.

Until this century, relative dating was the only technique for identifying the age of a truly ancient object.

By examining the object's relation to layers of deposits in the area, and by comparing the object to others found at the site, archaeologists can estimate when the object arrived at the site.

Samples from the past 70,000 years made of wood, charcoal, peat, bone, antler or one of many other carbonates may be dated using this technique.However, at the moment of death, the amount of carbon-14 begins to decrease because it is unstable, while the amount of carbon-12 remains constant in the sample.Half of the carbon-14 degrades every 5,730 years as indicated by its half-life.The ratio of normal carbon (carbon-12) to carbon-14 in the air and in all living things at any given time is nearly constant.Maybe one in a trillion carbon atoms are carbon-14.

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The carbon-14 atoms combine with oxygen to form carbon dioxide, which plants absorb naturally and incorporate into plant fibers by photosynthesis.