What is meant by carbon 14 and radioactive dating dating tips christian teenagers
The radiocarbon method was developed by a team of scientists led by the late Professor Willard F.Libby of the University of Chicago in immediate post-WW2 years.As radioactive isotopes of elements decay, they lose their radio activity and become a brand new element known as a daughter isotope.By measuring the ratio of the amount of the original radioactive element to the daughter isotope, scientists can determine how many half-lives the element has undergone and from there can figure out the absolute age of the sample."Everything which has come down to us from heathendom is wrapped in a thick fog; it belongs to a space of time we cannot measure.We know that it is older than Christendom, but whether by a couple of years or a couple of centuries, or even by more than a millenium, we can do no more than guess." [Rasmus Nyerup, (Danish antiquarian), 1802 (in Trigger, 19)].
Experts can compare the ratio of carbon 12 to carbon 14 in dead material to the ratio when the organism was alive to estimate the date of its death.Carbon-14 has a relatively short half-life of 5,730 years, meaning that the fraction of carbon-14 in a sample is halved over the course of 5,730 years due to radioactive decay to nitrogen-14.The carbon-14 isotope would vanish from Earth's atmosphere in less than a million years were it not for the constant influx of cosmic rays interacting with molecules of nitrogen (N) into organic compounds during photosynthesis, the resulting fraction of the isotope 14C in the plant tissue will match the fraction of the isotope in the atmosphere.In the case of radiocarbon dating, the half-life of carbon 14 is 5,730 years.This half life is a relatively small number, which means that carbon 14 dating is not particularly helpful for very recent deaths and deaths more than 50,000 years ago.