Radiocarbon dating is used to find the age of
For instance, if an object has 50 percent of its decay product, it has been through one half-life.A popular way to determine the ages of biological substances no more than 50,000 years old is to measure the decay of carbon-14 into nitrogen-14.Scientists calculate ages by measuring how much of the isotope remains in the substance.Continue Reading The key to an age of a substance is the decay-product ratio.Since Nitrogen gas makes up about 78 percent of the Earth's air, by volume, a considerable amount of Carbon-14 is produced.The carbon-14 atoms combine with oxygen to form carbon dioxide, which plants absorb naturally and incorporate into plant fibers by photosynthesis.For biological objects older than 50,000 years, scientists use radioactive dating to determine the age of rocks surrounding where the material was found.
By examining the object's relation to layers of deposits in the area, and by comparing the object to others found at the site, archaeologists can estimate when the object arrived at the site.
The ratio of the original isotope and its decay product determines how many half-lives have occurred since the sample formed.
A half-life measures the time it takes for one half of a radio isotope's atoms to break down into another element.
In the following section we are going to go more in-depth about carbon dating in order to help you get a better understanding of how it works.
Radiocarbon dating is a method of estimating the age of organic material.Animals and people take in carbon-14 by eating the plants.