Understanding carbon dating
Understanding carbon dating - ssssxx
date of organic material - but an approximate age, usually within a range of a few years either way.
For example, if you start off with 1000 radioactive nuclei with a half-life of 10 days, you would have 500 left after 10 days; you would have 250 left after 20 days (2 half-lives); and so on.
You might remember that it was mentioned earlier that the amount of carbon-14 in living things is the same as the atmosphere.
Once they die, they stop taking in carbon-14, and the amount present starts to decrease at a constant half-life rate.
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However, once the organism dies, the amount of carbon-14 steadily decreases.
By measuring the amount of carbon-14 left in the organism, it's possible to work out how old it is.
Once the organism dies, the amount of carbon-14 reduces by the fixed half-life - or the time required for half of the original sample of radioactive nuclei to decay - of 5,730 years, and can be measured by scientists for up to 10 half-lives.
Measuring the amount of radioactive carbon-14 remaining makes it possible to work out how old the artifact is, whether it's a fossilized skeleton or a magnificent piece of artwork. We have over 79 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities.
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It is often used on valuable artwork to confirm authenticity.