Carbon isotope in radiocarbon dating
Because it reacts identically to C-12 and C-13, C-14 becomes attached to complex organic molecules through photosynthesis in plants and becomes part of their molecular makeup.
Animals eating those plants in turn absorb Carbon-14 as well as the stable isotopes.
Though radiocarbon dating is startlingly accurate for the most part, it has a few sizable flaws.
The technology uses a series of mathematical calculations—the most recognizable of which is known as half-life—to estimate the age the organism stopped ingesting the isotope.
It's development revolutionized archaeology by providing a means of dating deposits independent of artifacts and local stratigraphic sequences.
In fact, it has fluctuated a great deal over the years.
He first noted that the cells of all living things contain atoms taken in from the organism's environment, including carbon; all organic compounds contain carbon.
Most carbon consists of the isotopes carbon 12 and carbon 13, which are very stable.
This is actually a mini-simulator, in that it processes a different sample each time and generates different dates.
In last Tuesday’s lecture, radiocarbon dating was covered briefly.
It is an essential technology that is heavily involved in archaeology and should be explored in greater depth.