How old can carbon dating go
Thus it appears that God probably created those elements when He made the original earth.In contrast, radiocarbon forms continually today in the earth’s upper atmosphere.If we know what fraction of the carbon atoms are radioactive, we can also calculate how many radiocarbon atoms are in the lump.Knowing the number of atoms that decayed in our sample over a month, we can calculate the radiocarbon decay rate.If carbon-14 has formed at a constant rate for a very long time and continually mixed into the biosphere, then the level of carbon-14 in the atmosphere should remain constant.
After plants and animals perish, however, they no longer replace molecules damaged by radiocarbon decay.
By comparing the surviving amount of carbon-14 to the original amount, scientists can calculate how long ago the animal died.
Since the atmosphere is composed of about 78% nitrogen,2 a lot of radiocarbon atoms are produced—in total about 16.5 pounds (7.5 kg) per year.
Many people assume that rocks are dated at “millions of years” based on radiocarbon (carbon-14) dating. The most well-known of all the radiometric dating methods is radiocarbon dating.
Carbon-14 can yield dates of only “thousands of years” before it all breaks down.The radiocarbon half-life or decay rate has been determined at 5,730 years.Next comes the question of how scientists use this knowledge to date things.After radiocarbon forms, the nuclei of the carbon-14 atoms are unstable, so over time they progressively decay back to nuclei of stable nitrogen-14.3 A neutron breaks down to a proton and an electron, and the electron is ejected. The ejected electrons are called beta particles and make up what is called beta radiation. Different carbon-14 atoms revert to nitrogen-14 at different times, which explains why radiocarbon decay is considered a random process.