How is carbon dating used
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.
The other two isotopes in comparison are more common than carbon-14 in the atmosphere but increase with the burning of fossil fuels making them less reliable for study (2); carbon-14 also increases, but its relative rarity means its increase is negligible. After this point, other Absolute Dating methods may be used.
Carbon-14 has a half life of 5730 years, meaning that 5730 years after an organism dies, half of its carbon-14 atoms have decayed to nitrogen atoms.
Similarly, 11460 years after an organism dies, only one quarter of its original carbon-14 atoms are still around.
Over time, carbon-14 decays radioactively and turns into nitrogen.
A living organism takes in both carbon-12 and carbon-14 from the environment in the same relative proportion that they existed naturally.
Archaeologists had used Relative Dating methods to calculate their reigns.Typically (6): The above list is not exhaustive; most organic material is suitable so long as it is of sufficient age and has not mineralised - dinosaur bones are out as they no longer have any carbon left.Stone and metal cannot be dated but pottery may be dated through surviving residue such as food particles or paint that uses organic material (8).Carbon dating is used by archeologists to date trees, plants, and animal remains; as well as human artifacts made from wood and leather; because these items are generally younger than 50,000 years.