Start Carbon 14 dating simplified

Carbon 14 dating simplified

Once an organism dies the carbon is no longer replaced.

This fact should always be remembered when using radiocarbon dates.

At an ar­chaeological dig, a piece of wooden tool is unearthed and the archaeologist finds it to be 5,000 years old.

A child mummy is found high in the Andes and the archaeologist says the child lived more than 2,000 years ago.

Obviously there will usually be a loss of stable carbon too but the proportion of radiocarbon to stable carbon will reduce according to the exponential decay law: R = A exp(-T/8033) where R is C ratio of the living organism and T is the amount of time that has passed since the death of the organism.