Describe one application of radiocarbon dating


10-Apr-2017 21:07

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The approximate time since the organism died can be worked out by measuring the amount of carbon-14 left in its remains compared to the amount in living organisms.

When it comes to dating archaeological samples, several timescale problems arise.

The numbers refer to the atomic weight, so Carbon-12 has 6 protons and 6 neutrons, Carbon-13 has 6 protons and 7 neutrons, and Carbon-14 has 6 protons and 8 neutrons.

The extra neutrons in Carbon-14’s case make it radioactive (thus the term, radiocarbon).

Although relative dating can work well in certain areas, several problems arise.

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As long as there is organic material present, radiocarbon dating is a universal dating technique that can be applied anywhere in the world.It is good for dating for the last 50,000 years to about 400 years ago and can create chronologies for areas that previously lacked calendars.In 1949, American chemist Willard Libby, who worked on the development of the atomic bomb, published the first set of radiocarbon dates.Natural disasters like floods can sweep away top layers of sites to other locations.