Chat or rant, adult content, spam, insulting other members, show more. Harm to minors, violence or threats, harassment or privacy invasion, impersonation or misrepresentation, fraud or phishing, show more. Yahoo Answers. How does carbon dating work? How does it work and how far back do they know how to go back in time?? Report Abuse.
How far back can carbon dating date something?
How is carbon dating done?
Radiocarbon dating also referred to as carbon dating or carbon dating is a method for determining the age of an object containing organic material by using the properties of radiocarbon , a radioactive isotope of carbon. The method was developed in the late s at the University of Chicago by Willard Libby , who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in It is based on the fact that radiocarbon 14 C is constantly being created in the atmosphere by the interaction of cosmic rays with atmospheric nitrogen. The resulting 14 C combines with atmospheric oxygen to form radioactive carbon dioxide , which is incorporated into plants by photosynthesis ; animals then acquire 14 C by eating the plants. When the animal or plant dies, it stops exchanging carbon with its environment, and from that point onwards the amount of 14 C it contains begins to decrease as the 14 C undergoes radioactive decay. Measuring the amount of 14 C in a sample from a dead plant or animal such as a piece of wood or a fragment of bone provides information that can be used to calculate when the animal or plant died.
How Carbon-14 Dating Works
Whenever the worldview of evolution is questioned, the topic of carbon dating always comes up. Here is how carbon dating works and the assumptions it is based upon. Radiation from the sun strikes the atmosphere of the earth all day long. This energy converts about 21 pounds of nitrogen into radioactive carbon This radioactive carbon 14 slowly decays back into normal, stable nitrogen.
How far can you go back in time, and assume an accurate sample with carbon dating? It seems limited, how can an observer know the state of the decay of a certain molecular structure even , calendar years ago? Could there be other influences that would affect the rate of decay of carbon 14? If it has generally been established as a constant, at what point does the "constant" break down?