Carbon 14 dating archaeology dating people in the
Known as radiocarbon dating, this method provides objective age estimates for carbon-based objects that originated from living organisms.
The “radiocarbon revolution” made possible by Libby’s discovery greatly benefitted the fields of archaeology and geology by allowing practitioners to develop more precise historical chronologies across geography and cultures.
Korff predicted that the reaction between these neutrons and nitrogen-14, which predominates in the atmosphere, would produce carbon-14, also called radiocarbon.
Libby cleverly realized that carbon-14 in the atmosphere would find its way into living matter, which would thus be tagged with the radioactive isotope.
The less Carbon-14 that is left, the older the sample.Theoretically, if one could detect the amount of carbon-14 in an object, one could establish that object’s age using the half-life, or rate of decay, of the isotope.In 1946, Libby proposed this groundbreaking idea in the journal Physical Review.Hard water contains less Carbon-14 than the atmosphere, because dissolved carbonates are Carbon-14 free.A fish caught in hard water has thus a higher Carbon-14 age than contemporaneous terrestrial samples.
These atoms rapidly decay into radiocarbon-dioxide and along with ordinary CO2 are absorbed by living plants.