Radiocarbon decays slowly in a living organism, and the amount lost is continually replenished as long as the organism takes in air or food. Because carbon-14 decays at this constant rate, an estimate of the date at which an organism died can be made by measuring the amount of its residual radiocarbon.
How can the decay of carbon-14 be used in carbon dating?
Over time, carbon-14 decays in predictable ways. And with the help of radiocarbon dating, researchers can use that decay as a kind of clock that allows them to peer into the past and determine absolute dates for everything from wood to food, pollen, poop, and even dead animals and humans.
How is carbon used in carbon dating?
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 development of radiocarbon dating has had a profound impact on archaeology.
What uses the decay of carbon-14 to date fossils?
radiometric dating method The Carbon 14 (C-14) dating method is a radiometric dating method. A radiometric dating uses the known rate of decay of radioactive isotopes to date an object.