Scientific definition of carbon dating southern maryland dating site
Once the organism dies, however, it ceases to absorb carbon-14, so that the amount of the radiocarbon in its tissues steadily decreases.
A technique for measuring the age of organic remains based on the rate of decay of carbon 14.
This is why radiocarbon dating is only useful for dating objects up to around 50,000 years old (about 10 half-lives).
Radioactive carbon-14 is continually formed in the atmosphere by the bombardment of cosmic ray neutrons on nitrogen-14 atoms.
By measuring the amount of carbon-14 left in the organism, it's possible to work out how old it is.
This technique works well for materials up to around 50,000 years old.