Start Carbon dating laymans terms

Carbon dating laymans terms

relatively long times, as in millions or billions of years)Most common Isotopes of Carbon Carbon- C-126- Neutrons6- Protons Natural abundance- 98.93%Half life- Stable Mass- 12u Carbon- C-137- Neutrons6- Protons Natural abundance- 1.109%Half life- Stable Mass- 13.003355 u Radiocarbon, C-148- Neutrons6- Protons Natural abundance- 1 part per trillion Half life- 5,730 ± 40 years Mass- 14.00324u____________________OK. We take Carbon from a sample of biological material, and measure the ratio of stable Carbon to unstable Radiocarbon, essentially C-12 to C-14.

The result of this variable “baseline” of “natural” ratios, is to limit the accuracy of the test.

So, to improve accuracy, it is important to have other samples from the same area which have been dated by an alternate method. The strata where the sample is found should not be disturbed.

The highest rate of carbon-14 production takes place at altitudes of 9 to 15 km (30,000 to 50,000 ft).

However, it is also used to determine ages of rocks, plants, trees, etc. When the sun’s rays reach them, a few of these particles turn into carbon 14 (a radioactive carbon).

It is limited by constraints mentioned, and by itself gives only a fuzzy approximation.

Also note, you cannot Carbon date glass, metal, or pottery. You could perhaps find a bit of leftover plant material from the crock, wine residue from the bottle, or blood on the knife.

Additionally, fossil Carbon can be introduced into the atmosphere through burning fossil fuels, or from volcanic activity.