Radiocarbon dating (also referred to as carbon dating or carbon-14 dating) is a method for determining the age of an object containing organic material by using the properties of radiocarbon, a radioactive isotope of carbon.
What is radiocarbon dating in the lab?
Radiocarbon dating, also known as carbon-14 dating, is a radioactive decay-based method for determining the age of organic remains that lived within the past 50,000 years. Most carbon-14 is created from nitrogen-14 in the earths upper atmosphere as a consequence of cosmic ray bombardment.
What happens in radiocarbon dating?
Radiocarbon dating works by comparing the three different isotopes of carbon. Over time 14C decays to nitrogen (14N). Most 14C is produced in the upper atmosphere where neutrons, which are produced by cosmic rays, react with 14N atoms.
What can be Analysed using radiocarbon dating?
Radiocarbon dating is a method that provides objective age estimates for carbon-based materials that originated from living organisms. An age could be estimated by measuring the amount of carbon-14 present in the sample and comparing this against an internationally used reference standard.