What does radiocarbon dating mean in history sex dating in mora new mexico
Some chemical elements have more than one type of atom. Carbon has two stable, nonradioactive isotopes: carbon-12 (12C), and carbon-13 (13C).
In addition, there are trace amounts of the unstable isotope carbon-14 (14C) on Earth.
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.
So, using carbon dating for fossils older than 60,000 years is unreliable.
Carbon dating was developed by American scientist Willard Libby and his team at the University of Chicago.
You probably have seen or read news stories about fascinating ancient artifacts.
By examining the object's relation to layers of deposits in the area, and by comparing the object to others found at the site, archaeologists can estimate when the object arrived at the site.
However, it is also used to determine ages of rocks, plants, trees, etc. When the sun’s rays reach them, a few of these particles turn into carbon 14 (a radioactive carbon).
The highest rate of carbon-14 production takes place at altitudes of 9 to 15 km (30,000 to 50,000 ft).
Libby calculated the half-life of carbon-14 as 5568, a figure now known as the Libby half-life.
Following a conference at the University of Cambridge in 1962, a more accurate figure of 5730 years was agreed upon and this figure is now known as the Cambridge half-life.
Carbon-14 has a half-life of 5,730 ± 40 years, meaning that every 5,700 years or so the object loses half its carbon-14.