Optically stimulated luminescence can find out how long ago samples were last exposed to the sun. Carbon dating stone tools laser, shown here in green, analyses electrons that accumulate in a crystal over millennia. Radiocarbon is an isotope with two extra neutrons, created by cosmic rays interacting with nitrogen carbon dating stone tools Earth's atmosphere. When a plant or animal is alive, it constantly replenishes trace amounts of radiocarbon in its tissues. Recommended Archaeology The half-life of radiocarbon is around 5,730 years, meaning after 5,730 years, only half of the original amount of isotope remains.
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BY Andrew Moseman May 4, 2009 Left and right, archaeologists are radiocarbon dating objects. fossils, documents, shrouds of Turin. They do it by comparing the ratio of an unstable isotope, carbon-14, to the normal, stable carbon-12. All living things have about the same level of carbon-14, but when they die it begins to decay at uniform rate—the half-life is about 5,700 years, and you can use this knowledge to date objects back about 60,000 years.
An essential piece of information in this research is the age of the fossils and artifacts. How do scientists determine their ages?
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