What is carbon dating and how does it work

22-Sep-2019 05:15

For carbon dating, the isotope used is Carbon-14, which has a half life of 5,700 years.

It isn't 0 Carbon dating uses the radioactive isotope Carbon-14 which has a half life of 5730 years.

The ratio of carbon-12 and carbon-14 are constant in a living organism.

However, no more carbon-14 is absorbed after the organism dies.

Organisms capture a certain amount of carbon-14 from the atmosphere when they are alive.

By measuring the ratio of the radio isotope to non-radioactive carbon, the amount of carbon-14 decay can be worked out, thereby giving an age for the specimen in question.

After this the rate of decay is too small to get accurate dates from a sample, and other dating methods (such as Thermoluminescence and Potassium-Argon) have to be used. Carbon dating measures the carbon content, and by taking other environmental factors into account, can work out how long ago something died.It may be used to date organic materials up to roughly 40,000 years old.

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