In carbon 14 dating
Since Nitrogen gas makes up about 78 percent of the Earth's air, by volume, a considerable amount of Carbon-14 is produced.
The carbon-14 atoms combine with oxygen to form carbon dioxide, which plants absorb naturally and incorporate into plant fibers by photosynthesis.
After 5,730 years, the amount of carbon 14 left in the body is half of the original amount.
If the amount of carbon 14 is halved every 5,730 years, it will not take very long to reach an amount that is too small to analyze.
Archaeologists use the exponential, radioactive decay of carbon 14 to estimate the death dates of organic material.
The stable form of carbon is carbon 12 and the radioactive isotope carbon 14 decays over time into nitrogen 14 and other particles.
When finding the age of an organic organism we need to consider the half-life of carbon 14 as well as the rate of decay, which is –0.693.
For example, say a fossil is found that has 35% carbon 14 compared to the living sample. We can use a formula for carbon 14 dating to find the answer.
Radiocarbon dating is a method of estimating the age of organic material.
Radiocarbon dating can be used on samples of bone, cloth, wood and plant fibers.
The half-life of a radioactive isotope describes the amount of time that it takes half of the isotope in a sample to decay.
The ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-14 is the same in all living things.
However, at the moment of death, the amount of carbon-14 begins to decrease because it is unstable, while the amount of carbon-12 remains constant in the sample.