Who developed the radiocarbon dating method


04-Aug-2015 08:18

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Thus carbon-14 has six protons and eight neutrons.) Carbon-12 is by far the most abundant carbon isotope, and carbon-12 and -13 are both stable.But carbon-14 is slightly radioactive: it will spontaneously decay into nitrogen-14 by emitting an anti-neutrino and an electron, with a half-life of 5730 years.Radiocarbon dating—also known as carbon-14 dating—is a technique used by archaeologists and historians to determine the age of organic material.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.

(The numbers 12, 13 and 14 refer to the total number of protons plus neutrons in the atom's nucleus.

The theory behind radiocarbon dating is as follows: Why doesn't the carbon-14 in the air decay along with terrestrial carbon? The trick is that radioactive carbon-14 is continually replenished in a complex reaction that involves high-energy cosmic rays striking the upper atmosphere.

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).

In this way, calibration tables have been developed that eliminate the discrepancy.

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This turns out not to be exactly true, and so there is an inherent error between a raw "radiocarbon date" and the true calendar date.To correct for this, scientists have compared radiocarbon dates from objects who's age is known by other means, such as artifacts from Egyptian tombs, and growth rings from ancient trees.