Simple carbon dating explanation

Carbon combines with other elements in complex ways to form the molecules that make up our bodies.Most carbon on Earth is not radioactive, but a very small percentage is.Thus, as living things take in carbon, they inevitably will take up a small amount of radioactive carbon into their bodies.When these lifeforms die, they stop taking in new carbon.In this article, we will examine the methods by which scientists use radioactivity to determine the age of objects, most notably carbon-14 dating.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.In fact, the whole method is a giant ‘clock’ which seems to put a very young upper limit on the age of the atmosphere.

The model of radiocarbon dating which Libby developed, using his incorrect ‘uniform’ assumption, must therefore be corrected to fit the facts about C to start with, so they have an even greater error.The carbon in their bodies at the time of their death will remain in their bodies until they decompose, or if they become fossilized, then forever.Radiocarbon dating is only effective for objects and fossils that are less than 50,000 years old.However, scientists can look at the decay of other elements in these objects allowing them to date them up to 2.2 billion years.­ ­You probably have seen or read news stories about fascinating ancient artifacts.

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