Carbon 14 dating calculations

He demonstrated the accuracy of radiocarbon dating by accurately estimating the age of wood from a series of samples for which the age was known, including an ancient Egyptian royal barge dating from 1850 BCE.Before Radiocarbon dating was able to be discovered, someone had to find the existence of the C isotope.The amount of carbon-14 in the atomosphere is, on an average, relatively constant.Plants take in carbon-14 through the process of photosynthesis.

Carbon-14 is decaying constantly with a half-life of 5720 years.A similar sample of freshly cut wood of the same type of tree had an activity of 15.3 cpm. From this science, we are able to approximate the date at which the organism were living on Earth.By comparing the activity of an archeological artifact to that of a sample of the living organism one can estimate the age of the artifact.Example: A sample of wood taken from an ancient tomb had an activity of 7.0 counts per minute (decays per minute).Radiocarbon dating is used in many fields to learn information about the past conditions of organisms and the environments present on Earth.


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