Carbon 14 dating system definition
Historical artefacts like moa bones can be dated using a technique that measures the activity of the radioisotope carbon-14 still present in the sample.By comparing this with a modern standard, an estimate of the calendar age of the artefact can be made.Learn more about Tom’s work on refining radiocarbon dating and how science is advancing our understanding of human evolution through the Palaeolithic period.Carbon dating is used to determine the age of biological artifacts up to 50,000 years old.Carbon-14 dating has been used successfully on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Minoan ruins and tombs of the pharaohs among other things. The half-life of carbon-14 is approximately 5,730 years. dinosaurs the evolution alleges lived millions of years ago.Levels of carbon-14 become difficult to measure and compare after about 50,000 years (between 8 and 9 half lives; where 1% of the original carbon-14 would remain undecayed).
In addition to the moa sample, control samples are also measured at the same time.The silica glass vials are loaded into the liquid scintillation spectrometer.The C-14 atoms present in the benzene decay at a certain rate.The decay events for each sample are measured over a week.The results from the liquid scintillation spectrometer are carefully analysed and provide a radiocarbon age for the sample.