To get the best possible experience using our website, we recommend that you upgrade to latest version of this browser or install another web browser. After reading this section you will be able to do the following :. Radiocarbon dating also referred to as carbon dating or carbon dating is a method for determining the age of an object containing organic material by using the properties of radiocarbona radioactive isotope of carbon. Rachel Wood does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold.
Despite the name, it does not give an absolute date of organic material - but an approximate age, usually within a range of a few years either way.
Love-hungry teenagers and archaeologists agree: dating is hard. Archaeologists use the exponential, radioactive decay of carbon 14 to estimate the death dates of organic material. Unstable nuclei decay. When we speak of the element Carbon, we most often refer to the most naturally abundant stable isotope 12 C. Radiocarbon dating is a method that provides objective age estimates for carbon-based materials that originated from living organisms.
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