Accuracy of c 14 dating

05-Nov-2019 12:31

Specifically, there are two types of carbon found in organic materials: carbon 12 (C-12) and carbon 14 (C-14).

It is imperative to remember that the material must have been alive at one point to absorb the carbon, meaning that carbon dating of rocks or other inorganic objects is nothing more than inaccurate guesswork.

Libby, the discoverer of the C14 dating method, was very disappointed with this problem.

He understood that archaeological artifacts were readily available.

Specifically, each nucleus will lose an electron, a process which is referred to as decay.

This rate of decay, thankfully, is constant, and can be easily measured in terms of ‘half-life’.

This is only because it is well calibrated with objects of known age.

Note that, contrary to a popular misconception, carbon dating is not used to date rocks at millions of years old.

Before we get into the details of how radiometric dating methods are used, we need to review some preliminary concepts from chemistry.

Example: wood found in a grave of known age by historically reliable documents is the standard for that time for the C14 content.

This standard content of C14 can then be used for wood not associated with a historically documented date.

This is only because it is well calibrated with objects of known age.Note that, contrary to a popular misconception, carbon dating is not used to date rocks at millions of years old.Before we get into the details of how radiometric dating methods are used, we need to review some preliminary concepts from chemistry.Example: wood found in a grave of known age by historically reliable documents is the standard for that time for the C14 content.This standard content of C14 can then be used for wood not associated with a historically documented date.However, a little more knowledge about the exact ins and outs of carbon dating reveals that perhaps it is not quite as fool-proof a process as we may have been led to believe.