Facts about carbon dating

Here are some interesting facts about carbon dating to note.

In the end of 1940s, Willard Libby developed the method of carbon dating.

The method of carbon dating was based on the true fact that the atmosphere formed radiocarbon from the interaction of atmospheric nitrogen and cosmic rays.

The contamination of the object with the modern carbon can make the object looks younger. It is not easy to find out the date of the object using the carbon dating. The samples that the people collect should be converted into a sample which can be measured in 14 C content.

Carbon-14 has a half-life of 5,730 ± 40 years—, half the amount of the radioisotope present at any given time will undergo spontaneous disintegration during the succeeding 5,730 years. It has proved to be a versatile technique of dating fossils and archaeological specimens from 500 to 50,000 years old.

Because carbon-14 decays at this constant rate, an estimate of the date at which an organism died can be made by measuring the amount of its residual radiocarbon. The method is widely used by Pleistocene geologists, anthropologists, archaeologists, and investigators in related fields.

In 1960, Libby even went on to win Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this pathbreaking scientific method.

Eventually, Libby was able to determine the age of an object upto 50,000 years with a precision of ± 10%.

You have to make sure that the object has the radiocarbon properties or 14 C to find out the age of the object.Then the archeologists employed carbon dating as their standard to decide the age of the objects.In 1960, Willard Libby was awarded with a Nobel Prize due to his invention.The scientists improved their equipments for detection of these elements.In 1939, the cyclotron particle accelerator was used as a mass spectrometer which helped in dating samples as old as 100,000 years.

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