Does radiation affect carbon dating


16-May-2017 08:52

The method was developed by Willard Libby in the late 1940s and soon became a standard tool for archaeologists.

Libby received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in 1960.

After 11,460 years (two half-lives), only 256 atoms are left.

After ten half-lives (or 57,300 years), less than one-thousandth of the original amount remains.

Carbon-14 decays to nitrogen-14 by emitting an electron and a neutrino, and it does so with a half-life of 5,730 years.

Thus, if one started with 1,024 atoms of carbon-14, after 5,730 years, only 512 would remain.

The radiocarbon dating method is based on the fact that radiocarbon is constantly being created in the atmosphere by the interaction of cosmic rays with atmospheric nitrogen.

The resulting radiocarbon combines with atmospheric oxygen to form radioactive carbon dioxide, which is incorporated into plants by photosynthesis; animals then acquire in a sample from a dead plant or animal such as a piece of wood or a fragment of bone provides information that can be used to calculate when the animal or plant died.

The idea behind radiocarbon dating is straightforward, but years of work were required to develop the technique to the point where accurate dates could be obtained.Even with these weird––and challenging from an old-earth perspective––results, radiocarbon (or, carbon-14) dating remains one of the best tools for determining the ages of things that lived from 500 to 50,000 years ago. Carbon-14 (C) is a naturally occurring radioisotope of carbon and is found in trace amounts on Earth.



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