The Theory Carbon 14 is a radioactive isotope of carbon. It is produced in the upper atmosphere by radiation from the sun. Specifically, neutrons hit nitrogen-14 atoms and transmute them to carbon. Land plants, such as trees, get their carbon from carbon dioxide in the air. [PUNIQGOOGLESNIPMIX-1
Play the game now! Radiocarbon Dating When a plant or animal dies it stops taking in carbon-14 and radioactive decay begins to decrease the amount of carbon-14 in the tissues. The age of the plant or animal specimen containing carbon, such as wood, bones, plant remains, is determined by measuring the ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-14. The half-life of carbon-14 is only 5730 years.
Carbon-14, Radiometric Dating and Index Fossils Carbon dating is used to determine the age of biological artifacts up to 50,000 years old. This technique is widely used on recent artifacts, but educators and students alike should note that this technique will not work on older fossils like those of the dinosaurs alleged to be millions of years old. This technique is not restricted to bones; it can also be used on cloth, wood and plant fibers. Carbon-14 dating has been used successfully on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Minoan ruins and tombs of the pharaohs among other things.
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Carbon-14 Dating Most everyone has heard of Carbon dating on the news or elsewhere sometime in the past years. In this article I hope to explain the theoretical and physical science behind Carbon dating, and discuss how it affects our lives and the validity of the process. Scientists use Carbon dating for telling the age of an old object, whose origin and age cannot be determined exactly by normal means.
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