Carbon dating work tufts university dating
No other scientific method has managed to revolutionize man’s understanding not only of his present but also of events that already happened thousands of years ago.Archaeology and other human sciences use radiocarbon dating to prove or disprove theories.This fact should always be remembered when using radiocarbon dates.The dating process is always designed to try to extract the carbon from a sample which is most representative of the original organism.When they die, they stop exchanging carbon with the biosphere and their carbon 14 content then starts to decrease at a rate determined by the law of radioactive decay.
Plants and animals assimilate carbon 14 from carbon dioxide throughout their lifetimes.
It is naturally unstable and so it will spontaneously decay back into N-14 after a period of time.
It takes about 5,730 years for half of a sample of radiocarbon to decay back into nitrogen.
Plants and animals naturally incorporate both the abundant C-12 isotope and the much rarer radiocarbon isotope into their tissues in about the same proportions as the two occur in the atmosphere during their lifetimes.
When a creature dies, it ceases to consume more radiocarbon while the C-14 already in its body continues to decay back into nitrogen.
C-14 is produced in the upper atmosphere when nitrogen-14 (N-14) is altered through the effects of cosmic radiation bombardment (a proton is displaced by a neutron effectively changing the nitrogen atom into a carbon isotope).