What is carbon dating

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By comparing this with a modern standard, an estimate of the calendar age of the artefact can be made.To use this interactive, move your mouse or finger over any of the labelled boxes and click to obtain more information.Radiocarbon dating (usually referred to simply as carbon-14 dating) is a radiometric dating method.It uses the naturally occurring radioisotope carbon-14 (14C) to estimate the age of carbon-bearing materials up to about 58,000 to 62,000 years old. Carbon-14 has a relatively short half-life of 5,730 years, meaning that the fraction of carbon-14 in a sample is halved over the course of 5,730 years due to radioactive decay to nitrogen-14.Using this hypothesis, the initial half-life he determined was 5568 give or take 30 years.The accuracy of this proposal was proven by dating a piece of wood from an Ancient Egyptian barge, of whose age was already known.

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Amongst the artefacts that have been found are ancient moa bones.

From this science, we are able to approximate the date at which the organism were living on Earth.

Radiocarbon dating is used in many fields to learn information about the past conditions of organisms and the environments present on Earth.

The entire process of Radiocarbon dating depends on the decay of carbon-14.

This process begins when an organism is no longer able to exchange Carbon with their environment.

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