Where and by whom was the radiocarbon dating method developed
This carbon — 14 cycles through an organism while it is alive, but once it dies, the organism accumulates no additional carbon — Whatever carbon — 14 was present at the time of the organism's death begins to decay to nitrogen — 14 by emitting radiation in a process known as beta decay.
The difference between the concentration of carbon — 14 in the material to be dated and the concentration in the atmosphere provides a basis for estimating the age of a specimen, given that the rate of decay of carbon — 14 is well known.
Carbon dating has the peculiar property that it works primarily on dead things.
Other forms of radioactive dating are more broadly applicable. If so, the official definition is "the determination of the age or date of organic matter from the relative proportions of the carbon isotopes carbon-12 and carbon-14 that it contains".
Carbon dating is one type of radiometric dating, there are others.
Carbon dating uses the carbon-14 isotope, with a half life of about 5700 years.
Accurate carbon dating requires specialized and extremely expensive equipment to measure the ratio of carbon 13-carbon 14.
Before the twentieth century, determining the age of ancient fossils or artifacts was considered the job of paleontologists or paleontologists, not nuclear physicists.
By comparing the placement of objects with the age of the rock and silt layers in which they were found, scientists could usually make a general estimate of their age.
However, many objects were found in caves, frozen in ice , or in other areas whose ages were not known; in these cases, it was clear that a method for dating the actual object was necessary.
Using the carbon — 14 method, scientists determined the ages of artifacts from many ancient civilizations.
Still, even with the help of laboratories worldwide, radiocarbon dating was only accurate up to 70, years old, since objects older than this contained far too little carbon — 14 for the equipment to detect.
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Carbon-dating is useful for archaeology, where it can date evidence of human artefacts up to fifty thousand years old.