Question: How is carbon 14 used to date organic materials?

All organic material must stock up carbon atoms for various reasons, some of which randomly happen to be carbon-14. Scientists can use its level of radioactivity and compare it to the half life of carbon-14, which is the time taken for it to become half as radioactive as before. For Carbon-14, this is 5,730 years.

Why is carbon-14 is commonly used to help date organic material?

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.

Tell us about you

Find us at the office

Chanco- Cordoza street no. 78, 65475 West Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Give us a ring

Kriti Uminski
+72 304 539 36
Mon - Fri, 9:00-21:00

Write us