Carbon-14 has a half-life of 5,730 ± 40 years, meaning that every 5,700 years or so the object loses half its carbon-14.Samples from the past 70,000 years made of wood, charcoal, peat, bone, antler or one of many other carbonates may be dated using this technique.
This is different to relative dating, which only puts geological events in time order.
Most absolute dates for rocks are obtained with radiometric methods.
Though still heavily used, relative dating is now augmented by several modern dating techniques.
Radiocarbon dating involves determining the age of an ancient fossil or specimen by measuring its carbon-14 content.
All radiometric dating methods measure isotopes in some way.
Most directly measure the amount of isotopes in rocks, using a mass spectrometer.
: it is absorbed from the air by green plants and then passed on to animals through the food chain.
Radiocarbon decays slowly in a living organism, and the amount lost is continually replenished as ...
Radiocarbon dating measures radioactive isotopes in once-living organic material instead of rock, using the decay of carbon-14 to nitrogen-14.
Because of the fairly fast decay rate of carbon-14, it can only be used on material up to about 60,000 years old.
Because of their unique decay rates, different elements are used for dating different age ranges.