Network with colleagues and access the latest research in your field. Sheridan Bowman, Radiocarbon Dating: May 25, It frequently happens that a sample for radiocarbon dating can be taken directly from the object of interest, but there are also many cases where this is not possible. The unstable nature of carbon 14 with a precise half-life that makes it easy to measure means it is ideal as an absolute dating method. Our editors will review what you've submitted, and if it meets our criteria, we'll add it to the article.
Most radiocarbon dating today is done using an accelerator mass spectrometeran instrument that directly counts the numbers of carbon and carbon in a sample.
How Does Carbon Dating Work
May 25, Open House Festival — Liverpool, Liverpool. Radiocarbon dating uses isotopes of the element carbon. Despite the name, it does not give an absolute date of organic material - but an approximate age, usually within a range of a few years either way. InLibby moved to the University of Chicago where he began his work on radiocarbon dating. He published a paper in in which he proposed that the carbon in living matter might include 14 C as well as non-radioactive carbon. Help Support EarthSky with a Donation!