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How Carbon-14 Dating Works

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Carbon dating explained dating websites in johannesburg The article is in straightforward language and the non-technical reader could profitably work through it. Carbon-14 14C or radiocarbon as it is often called, is a substance manufactured in the carbon dating explained atmosphere by the action of cosmic rays. Ordinary nitrogen 14N is converted into 14C as shown to the right.

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How Does Carbon Dating Work Carbon-14 is a weakly radioactive isotope of Carbon; also known as radiocarbon, it is an isotopic chronometer. C-14 dating is only applicable to organic and some inorganic materials not applicable to metals. Gas proportional counting, liquid scintillation counting and accelerator mass spectrometry are the three principal radiocarbon dating methods.

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After reading this section you will be able to do the following. Describe why carbon can be found in all living organisms. Explain how carbon can help determine the age of some objects. As you learned in the previous page, carbon dating uses the half-life of Carbon-14 to find the approximate age of certain objects that are 40,000 years old or younger. In the following section we are going to go more in-depth about carbon dating in order to help you get a better understanding of how it works.



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