Obviously there will usually be a loss of stable carbon too but the proportion of radiocarbon to stable carbon will reduce according to the exponential decay law: R = A exp(-T/8033) where R is C ratio of the living organism and T is the amount of time that has passed since the death of the organism.
Try searching for similar questions Browse our recent questions Browse our popular tags If you feel something is missing that should be here, contact us.
Radiocarbon dating—also known as carbon-14 dating—is a technique used by archaeologists and historians to determine the age of organic material.
In this process, nitrogen-14 (7 protons and 7 neutrons) gains a neutron and loses a proton, producing carbon-14 (6 protons and 8 neutrons).
The proportion of carbon-14 to carbon-12 in the atmosphere therefore remains relatively stable at about 1.5 parts per billion.
It can theoretically be used to date anything that was alive any time during the last 60,000 years or so, including charcoal from ancient fires, wood used in construction or tools, cloth, bones, seeds, and leather.
It cannot be applied to inorganic material such as stone tools or ceramic pottery.
Further complications arise when the carbon in a sample has not taken a straightforward route from the atmosphere to the organism and thence to the measured sample.
We're sorry, we couldn't find the page you requested.
Radiocarbon dating is one of the most widely used scientific dating methods in archaeology and environmental science.