What does carbon 14 dating represent?
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. Histories of archaeology often refer to its impact as the radiocarbon revolution.
What is unique about C14 dating?
Radiocarbon dating uses carbon isotopes. Most carbon on Earth exists as the very stable isotope carbon-12, with a very small amount as carbon-13. Carbon-14 is an unstable isotope of carbon that will eventually decay at a known rate to become carbon-12. Carbon-14 is considered a radioactive isotope of carbon.
What is carbon-14 used to date and why?
Carbon-14 dating is a way of determining the age of certain archeological artifacts of a biological origin up to about 50,000 years old. It is used in dating things such as bone, cloth, wood and plant fibers that were created in the relatively recent past by human activities.
Is carbon-14 dating reliable?
They have their work cut out for them, however, because radiocarbon (C-14) dating is one of the most reliable of all the radiometric dating methods.
How is carbon 14 dating done?
Radiocarbon dating works by comparing the three different isotopes of carbon. Most 14C is produced in the upper atmosphere where neutrons, which are produced by cosmic rays, react with 14N atoms. It is then oxidised to create 14CO2, which is dispersed through the atmosphere and mixed with 12CO2 and 13CO2.