Radiocarbon dating method synonyms

So by measuring carbon 14 levels in an organism that died long ago, researchers can figure out when it died.

The primary natural source of carbon-14 on Earth is cosmic ray action upon nitrogen in the atmosphere, and it is therefore a cosmogenic nuclide.

However, open-air nuclear testing between 1955–1980 contributed to this pool.

Carbon 14 is continually being created in the Earth's atmosphere by the interaction of nitrogen and gamma rays from outer space.

Since atmospheric carbon 14 arises at about the same rate that the atom decays, the Earth's levels of carbon 14 have remained constant.

Such raw ages can be calibrated to give calendar dates.

One of the most frequent uses of radiocarbon dating is to estimate the age of organic remains from archaeological sites.

Its existence had been suggested by Franz Kurie in 1934.

There are three naturally occurring isotopes of carbon on Earth: 99% of the carbon is carbon-12, 1% is carbon-13, and carbon-14 occurs in trace amounts, i.e., making up about 1 part per trillion of the carbon in the atmosphere. Carbon-14 decays into nitrogen-14 through beta decay.

Carbon-14 has a relatively short half-life of 5,730 years, meaning that the amount of carbon-14 in a sample is halved over the course of 5,730 years due to radioactive decay.

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