Carbon dating does it work

There are two techniques for dating in archaeological sites: relative and absolute dating.Relative dating stems from the idea that something is younger or older relative to something else.Living things contain carbon-14 and carbon-12 in a ratio that is the same as in the atmosphere at the time.When the organism dies, the ratio of carbon-14 to carbon-12 decreases, as carbon-14 decays and is no longer incorporated into the organism.

The Carbon-14 “dating” method was introduced by Dr. Libby (1908-1980) at the University of Chicago in 1949. Carbon-12 is the normal stable isotope of Carbon (99% of all Carbon), which is the basic building block of organic life forms.Carbon-14 is continually produced in the upper atmosphere as neutrons, which are by-products of cosmic rays, and is then absorbed by nitrogen atoms.Carbon-14 atoms react with oxygen to form carbon dioxide, and carbon-14 is incorporated into the food chain when plants use carbon dioxide for photosynthesis.When it comes to dating archaeological samples, several timescale problems arise.For example, Christian time counts the birth of Christ as the beginning, AD 1 (Anno Domini); everything that occurred before Christ is counted backwards from AD as BC (Before Christ).

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