How do archaeologists use radiocarbon dating

Rated 3.81/5 based on 993 customer reviews

This does not, of course, prove that the bones are those of Richard III.What it does is remove one possibility which could have proved that these are not Richard’s remains.

The carbon 14 present in an organism at the time of its death decays at a steady rate, and so the age of the remains can be calculated from the amount of carbon 14 that is left. The cells of all living things contain carbon atoms that they take in from their environment.

Radioactive decay can be used as a “clock” because it is unaffected by physical (e.g. For instance, the amount varies according to how many cosmic rays reach Earth.

This is affected by solar activity and the earth’s magnetic field.

But if they are earlier than 1485, then they can’t be Richard’s remains.

Radiocarbon dating is a commonly used technique which relies on the fact that, although 99% of carbon atoms have six protons and six neutrons (carbon-12), about 1% have an extra neutron (carbon-13) and about one atom in a trillion has two extra neutrons (carbon-14).

Leave a Reply