Basic principles of carbon dating radiocarbon or carbon 14 is an isotope of the element carbon that is unstable and weakly radioactive the stable isotopes are carbon 12 and carbon 13 carbon 14 is continually being formed in the upper atmosphere by the effect.
In addition samples need to be thoroughly cleaned to remove carbon contamination from glues and soil before dating this is particularly important for very old samples if 1 of the carbon in a 50000 year old sample is from a modern contaminant the sample will be dated to around 40000 years.
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Radiocarbon dating also known as the c14 dating method is a way of telling how old an object is it is a type of radiometric dating the method uses the radioactive isotope carbon14 most organic matter contains carbon carbon has different isotopes which are usually not radioactive.
Radiocarbon dating is one of the best known archaeological dating techniques available to scientists and the many people in the general public have at least heard of it.
Span classnews_dt04122012spannbsp018332how do scientists determine the age of fossils that have been under the surface of the earth for thousands of years scientific american editor michael.
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