Radiocarbon dating how stuff works outlook always updating cached messages

06 Aug

Carbon dating therefore relies on enrichment and enhancement techniques to make smaller quantities easier to detect, but such enhancement can also skew the test results. As a result, carbon dating is only plausible for objects less than about 40,000 years old.The other major factor affecting the results of carbon dating is gauging the original proportion of carbon-14 itself.The element carbon exists in several different isotope forms (carbon-12, carbon-13 and carbon-14), depending on the number of neutrons in its atom.

Question: "Is carbon dating a reliable method for determining the age of things?Because carbon-14 is mildly radioactive, it has a specific half-life (rate of decay).When an organism dies, it stops absorbing carbon-14, which then begins to decay.By measuring how much carbon-14 still remains in an organic compound, you can calculate how old it is.This method also works on some inorganic compounds, as long as they also assimilated carbon-14 during their formation.