Start Maximum age carbon 14 dating can used

Maximum age carbon 14 dating can used

This decay process leads to a more balanced nucleus and when the number of protons and neutrons balance, the atom becomes stable.

Radioactive decay is a natural process and comes from the atomic nucleus becoming unstable and releasing bits and pieces.

These are released as radioactive particles (there are many types).

Renfrew (1973) called it 'the radiocarbon revolution' in describing its impact upon the human sciences.

Writing of the European Upper Palaeolithic, Movius (1960) concluded that "time alone is the lens that can throw it into focus".

The older an organism's remains are, the less beta radiation it emits because its C-14 is steadily dwindling at a predictable rate.

So, if we measure the rate of beta decay in an organic sample, we can calculate how old the sample is. Question: Kieth and Anderson radiocarbon-dated the shell of a living freshwater mussel and obtained an age of over two thousand years.

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.