Carbon dating system accuracy
Since 1947, scientists have reckoned the ages of many old objects by measuring the amounts of radioactive carbon they contain.
New research shows, however, that some estimates based on carbon may have erred by thousands of years.
Radioactive carbon is absorbed by living organisms throughout their entire life.
When the organism dies that absorption stops and the radioactive carbon begins to break down.
Almost everyone has heard on the news about archaeological findings claiming to have discovered a 12,000 years old bone, or a tomb with a skeleton of an individual who died 18,000 years ago.
Do you remember when they found the famous tomb of Tutankhamun in Egypt?
Radiocarbon dating works by comparing the amount of normal carbon that is found in a sample with the amount of radioactive carbon.
If one of these rays collides with an atom, it would create a secondary cosmic ray and become an energetic neutron.
They are then able to calibrate the carbon dating method to produce fairly accurate results.
Carbon dating is thus accurate within the timeframe set by other archaeological dating techniques.
They have their work cut out for them, however, because radiocarbon (C-14) dating is one of the most reliable of all the radiometric dating methods. - What is the level of accuracy of this dating method?
Why are there discrepancies in results when using this method?