Radiocarbon dating to
Atoms of the same element that have different numbers of neutrons are called isotopes. Most carbon on Earth exists as the very stable isotope carbon-12, with a very small amount as carbon-13.
Here’s an example using the simplest atom, hydrogen. Carbon-14 is an unstable isotope of carbon that will eventually decay at a known rate to become carbon-12.
How do scientists know how old an object or human remains are?It also has some applications in geology; its importance in dating organic materials cannot be underestimated enough.In 1979, Desmond Clark said of the method “we would still be foundering in a sea of imprecisions sometime bred of inspired guesswork but more often of imaginative speculation” (3). You probably have seen or read news stories about fascinating ancient artifacts.At an archaeological dig, a piece of wooden tool is unearthed and the archaeologist finds it to be 5,000 years old.