Simple definition radiocarbon dating
Once the organism dies, however, it ceases to absorb carbon-14, so that the amount of the radiocarbon in its tissues steadily decreases.
Carbon-14 has a half-life of 5,730 ± 40 years— during the succeeding 5,730 years.
Throughout the life of an animal or plant, the amount of C14 is perfectly balanced with that of its surroundings. The C14 in a dead organism slowly decays at a known rate: its "half life".
For teaching and sharing purposes, readers are advised to supplement these historic articles with more up-to-date ones suggested in the Related Articles below.
by Dr Carl Wieland An attempt to explain this very important method of dating and the way in which, when fully understood, it supports a ‘short’ timescale.
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.
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Astronomy Worksheets Biology Worksheets Coloring Worksheets Dinosaur Worksheets Geology Worksheets Geography Worksheets History Worksheets Holiday Worksheets Math Worksheets Language Arts Worksheets All Educational Worksheets Astronomy Music Biology Music Concepts Music Chemistry Music Foreign Language Music Geology Music Geography Music History Music Language Arts Music Life Skills Music Math Music Physics Music All Educational Music One method that scientists use to date ancient fossils and artifacts is called radiocarbon dating.