Age range of radiocarbon dating


Carbon-14, a radioactive form of the element carbon, is created in the atmosphere by cosmic rays (invisible, high-energy particles that constantly bombard Earth from all directions in space).When carbon-14 falls to Earth, it is absorbed by plants.In the process of disintegration, the atom gives off radiation (energy emitted in the form of waves). Each element decays at its own rate, unaffected by external physical conditions.By measuring the amount of original and transformed atoms in an object, scientists can determine the age of that object.The most widely used and accepted form of absolute dating is radioactive decay dating. Radioactive decay refers to the process in which a radioactive form of an element is converted into a nonradioactive product at a regular rate.



Dating techniques are procedures used by scientists to determine the age of an object or a series of events.The time it takes for one-half of the carbon-14 to decay (a period called a half-life) is 5,730 years.By measuring the amount of carbon-14 remaining, scientists can pinpoint the exact date of the organism's death.Stratigraphy: Study of layers of rocks or the objects embedded within those layers.



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