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Facts about radiocarbon dating

Some organic materials do give radiocarbon ages in excess of 50,000 "radiocarbon years." However, it is important to distinguish between "radiocarbon years" and calendar years.These two measures of time will only be the same if all of the assumptions which go into the conventional radiocarbon dating technique are valid.

The field of radiocarbon dating has become a technical one far removed from the naive simplicity which characterized its initial introduction by Libby in the late 1940's.Three types of carbon occur naturally in living material: C12, C13 and C14.Carbon14 (C14) is unstable and present in a very small percentage relative to the other components.As well, the ratio of C14 in the atmosphere fluctuates slightly over time.Carbon dating began with one lab and is now done in more than 130 labs worldwide.

Comparison of ancient, historically dated artifacts (from Egypt, for example) with their radiocarbon dates has revealed that radiocarbon years and calendar years are not the same even for the last 5,000 calendar years.

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Facts about radiocarbon dating introduction

Facts about radiocarbon dating