Validity of carbon 14 dating

The technique is based on measuring the ratio of two isotopes of carbon.

Carbon has an atomic number of 6, an atomic weight of 12.011, and has three isotopes: carbon-12, carbon-13, and carbon-14.

Half-life refers to the amount of time it takes for an object to lose exactly half of the amount of carbon (or other element) stored in it.

This half-life is very constant and will continue at the same rate forever.

It has been summed up most succinctly in the words of American neuroscience Professor Bruce Brew: that samples of moss could be brought back to life after being frozen in ice. That carbon dating deemed the moss to have been frozen for over 1,500 years.

Now, if this carbon dating agrees with other evolutionary methods of determining age, the team could have a real discovery on their hands.

However, a little more knowledge about the exact ins and outs of carbon dating reveals that perhaps it is not quite as fool-proof a process as we may have been led to believe.

However, in the 1960s, the growth rate was found to be significantly higher than the decay rate; almost a third in fact.The half-life of carbon is 5,730 years, which means that it will take this amount of time for it to reduce from 100g of carbon to 50g – exactly half its original amount.Similarly, it will take another 5,730 years for the amount of carbon to drop to 25g, and so on and so forth.All living things absorb both types of carbon; but once it dies, it will stop absorbing.The C-12 is a very stable element and will not change form after being absorbed; however, C-14 is highly unstable and in fact will immediately begin changing after absorption.

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