Libby and coworkers, and it has provided a way to determine the ages of different materials in archeology, geology, geophysics, and other branches of science.
Some examples of the types of material that radiocarbon can determine the ages of are wood, charcoal, marine and freshwater shell, bone and antler, and peat and organic-bearing sediments.
On the other hand, atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons during the 1950s and 1960s is likely to have increased the Carbon 14 content of the atmosphere.
In fact, research has been conducted which suggests that nuclear tests may have doubled the concentration of C-14 in this time, compared to natural production by cosmic rays. If you’d like more info on Carbon Dating, check out NASA’s Virtual Dating: Isochron and Radiocarbon – Geology Labs On-line, and here’s a link to USGS Radiometric Dating Page.
What methods do they use and how do these methods work?
In this article, we will examine the methods by which scientists use radioactivity to determine the age of objects, most notably carbon-14 dating.
Carbon-14 dating is a way of determining the age of certain archeological artifacts of a biological origin up to about 50,000 years old.
Radiocarbon enters the biosphere through natural processes like eating and breathing.This process causes a proton to be displaced by a neutron, effectively turning atoms of Nitrogen it into an isotope of carbon – known as”radiocarbon”.It is naturally radioactive and unstable, and will therefore spontaneously decay back into N-14 over a period of time.Here on Earth, Carbon is found in the atmosphere, the soil, the oceans, and in every living creature. C-12, so-named because it has an atomic weight of 12 – is the most common isotope, but it is by no means the only one.Carbon 14 is another, an isotope of carbon that is produced when Nitrogen (N-14) is bombarded by cosmic radiation.Plants and animals absorb both C-12 and C-14 in the course of their natural lifetimes simply by carrying out these basic functions.