How carbon dating works

If you are fairly sure the material has not been contaminated with Carbon compounds that are older or newer, then you can get an approximate date for the artifact. If you find a bit of bone that dates to 30,000 yrs.

BP, in strata known by other methods to be only 10,000 yrs.

BP, then you can be fairly sure it does not belong there, and was deposited by flood, or digging by rodents, or some other way.

how carbon dating works-6

Once the organism dies, however, it ceases to absorb carbon-14, so that the amount of the radiocarbon in its tissues steadily decreases.

Carbon-14 has a half-life of 5,730 ± 40 years—, half the amount of the radioisotope present at any given time will undergo spontaneous disintegration during the succeeding 5,730 years.

Libby received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in 1960.

The radiocarbon dating method is based on the fact that radiocarbon is constantly being created in the atmosphere by the interaction of cosmic rays with atmospheric nitrogen.

You might have noticed that Carbon dates are almost always stated with a ( - years), or simply stated as “between” date-to-date.