Scientific definition of carbon 14 dating

A form of radiometric dating used to determine the age of organic remains in ancient objects, such as archaeological specimens, on the basis of the half-life of carbon-14 and a comparison between the ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-14 in a sample of the remains to the known ratio in living organisms. A technique for measuring the age of organic remains based on the rate of decay of carbon 14.

The carbon 14 present in an organism at the time of its death decays at a steady rate, and so the age of the remains can be calculated from the amount of carbon 14 that is left. The cells of all living things contain carbon atoms that they take in from their environment.

The unstable nature of carbon 14 (with a precise half-life that makes it easy to measure) means it is ideal as an absolute dating method.

So I said maybe it's 5,730 years since this bone was part of a living animal, or it's roughly that old.

So by measuring carbon 14 levels in an organism that died long ago, researchers can figure out when it died.

The procedure of radiocarbon dating can be used for remains that are up to 50,000 years old.

Today, the radiocarbon-14 dating method is used extensively in environmental sciences and in human sciences such as archaeology and anthropology.

It also has some applications in geology; its importance in dating organic materials cannot be underestimated enough.

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