Use of carbon 14 dating
Carbon-14 is a radioactive isotope used to date organic material.Its consistent rate of decay allows the age of an object to be determined by the proportion of carbon-14 to other carbon isotopes. Carbon-14 is also used as a radioactive tracer for medical tests.After this the amount of carbon-14 present in the sample is too small to be measured precisely.Carbon-14 can not be used to measure the age of very young specimens as the difference between the amount of carbon-12 and carbon-14 will not be sufficient to be detected.Radiocarbon decays slowly in a living organism, and the amount lost is continually replenished as long as the organism takes in air or food.Once the organism dies, however, it ceases to absorb carbon-14, so that the amount of the radiocarbon in its tissues steadily decreases.
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Radiocarbon dating (also referred to as carbon dating or carbon-14 dating) is a method for determining the age of an object containing organic material by using the properties of radiocarbon, a radioactive isotope of carbon.
The method was developed in the late 1940s at the University of Chicago by Willard Libby, who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in 1960.
Human remains, fossils and organic materials from archaeological sites are all dated using carbon-14.
Books, clothing and food remains are all archaeological artifacts that can be carbon dated.
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Carbon dating works by comparing the amount of carbon-14 in a sample to the amount of carbon-12.