Carbor 14 dating

11 Nov

In the case of radiocarbon dating, the half-life of carbon 14 is 5,730 years.

This half life is a relatively small number, which means that carbon 14 dating is not particularly helpful for very recent deaths and deaths more than 50,000 years ago.

Over the past six decades, the amount of radiocarbon in people or their remains depends heavily on when they were born or, more precisely, when their tissues were formed.

Forensic anthropologists at The University of Arizona took advantage of this fact in a recent study funded by NIJ.

Archaeologists have long used carbon-14 dating (also known as radiocarbon dating) to estimate the age of certain objects.

Traditional radiocarbon dating is applied to organic remains between 500 and 50,000 years old and exploits the fact that trace amounts of radioactive carbon are found in the natural environment.

Other corrections must be made to account for the proportion of throughout the biosphere (reservoir effects).

Additional complications come from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil, and from the above-ground nuclear tests done in the 1950s and 1960s.

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.

In contrast, from 1955 to 1963, atmospheric radiocarbon levels almost doubled.

Since then they have been dropping back toward natural levels.

In the last video, we talked about the idea that if I dug up a bone someplace, if I dug up a bone, and if I were to measure its carbon-14, and I found that it had half of the carbon-14 that I would expect to find in a living animal or plant, that I said, hey, maybe one half life has gone by, or roughly for carbon-14, one half life is 5,730 years.

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