This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Radiocarbon Dating Essay

1088 words - 5 pages

“Willard Libby (a scientist who won the Nobel Prize inn Chemistry) developed radiocarbon dating as a method to measure radioactivity. Carbon-14 is a weakly radioactive isotope of Carbon; also known as radio carbon. Radiocarbon dating cannot be applied to metals, only to organic and selected inorganic materials. The three principal radiocarbon dating methods are: (1) gas proportional counting, (2) liquid scintillation counting and (3) accelerator mass spectrometry.” (Beta Analytic). Radiocarbon dating is the only scientific method to revolutionize man’s understanding of events that occurred in the past and also in the present. It is used to prove and disprove theories in archaeology and other sciences. (Beta Analytic)

Carbon-14 is unstable and its atoms decay into nitrogen atoms. (Biblical Chronologist). Willard Libby was the first person to measure the half life of radiocarbon, or carbon-14, recording it as 5730 years. When they are alive, plants absorb and digest carbon-14 from carbon dioxide.(Beta Analytic). They absorb their C-atoms via the foods that they consume. The absorption of the atoms stops when the organism dies. (Biblical Chronologist). Their carbon-14 content decreases gradually once they die. The rate at which the decrease occurs is determined by the law of radioactive decay. The amount of carbon-14 that is left in an organism after its death can be used to tell how old it is, its age. (Beta Analytic)

Gas proportional counting.

This method counts the beta particles (products of radiocarbon decay) that a particle or organism releases. Measurement in gas proportional counters occurs after the carbon has been converted into carbon dioxide. (Beta Analytic)

Liquid scintillation counting

In this method, a scintillator is added to the sample in its liquid form. A flash of light is produced by scintillator when it reacts with the products of radiocarbon decay. A count is made when the two photomultipliers through which the sample vial is passed register the flash of light. (Beta Analytic)

Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS)

It is the most efficient manner to measure how much carbon-14 is in a sample. The amount of carbon-14 is measured directly in relation to the amount of carbon-12 and carbon-13. Thus method pays no mind to the amount of the products of radiocarbon decay that are in the sample, but to the number of carbon atoms that are present in the sample and to the ratio of the isotopes (Beta Analytic). AMS radiocarbon dating is a way to obtain dates from samples that are very small. The smaller sample sizes has allowed for an increase in the amount of organic remains that can be sampled. More sample materials can now also be used as a result of the reduced sample sizes. An increase in range of samples that can be dated multiple samples can be taken from a single archaeological site. The AMS dating method has the theoretical ability to double the time span of the normal radiocarbon dating. (Ojha 2013)

Once one of the three...

Find Another Essay On radiocarbon dating

The New Archaeology Movement Essay

949 words - 4 pages were also implemented in the field of archaeology during this movement. For instance, radiocarbon dating replaced “seriation and cross-cultural trait distribution”, and allowed New Archaeologists to construct more absolute cultural chronologies (Walsh 314). Before radiocarbon dating was possible, artifacts were dated by using techniques that only provided relative dates; with the scientific technology that allows them to utilize radiocarbon

Exploration od Deep Sea Corals Essay

932 words - 4 pages supported by radiocarbon analyses on the deep-sea coral samples. The radiocarbon values reflect a greater reduction of export of North Atlantic waters. Figure two is a time series record dating into the last deglaciation. The record of 231Pa/230Th ratio measured in a sediment core from the Bermuda Rise in a previous study correlates with the deep-sea coral Nd isotopic signature determined in the Robinson and Van de Flierdt (2009) study. Nd isotopes

Tutorial Paper

783 words - 4 pages dating can only be used to determine the age of something that was once alive. This is because radiocarbon is a naturally occurring isotope of the element carbon. When a living thing dies, it stops interacting with the biosphere, and the carbon in it remains unaffected by the biosphere but will naturally undergo decay. Radiocarbon dating is then used to determine the time elapsed since death (Beta Analytic Radicarbon Dating 2014). Works Cited

Refuting Evolution

1182 words - 5 pages some of the dating methods, like carbon-14, but these dating methods themselves are gravely inaccurate, and yet are presented as infallible evolutionary fact. While there are many that can be used, there are two primary methods generally accepted by scientists: radiometric, and radiocarbon dating. Radiometric dating relys on the decay processes of certain elements, like how uranium changes into lead over a very long period of time. These methods


404 words - 2 pages for their collections and also sponsor field expeditions. The establishment of chronology is a prime concern for understanding spatial and temporal interrelationships. To this end, stratigraphy and seriation are long-standing reliable techniques of investigation. Other methods used with success are tree-ring counts, obsidian hydration, and fluorine analysis. The greatest boon for archaeology since 1949 has been radiocarbon dating

notes regarding the importance of whether to even do this againa na - notes year 11 - notes

4109 words - 17 pages of grain crops in his time · Trimmed moustache and beard – fine “stepped” ends indicated use of fine shears or scissors – fine metal work of Iron Age culture or of external trade · Radiocarbon dating – first century AD Celtic society · Close observation of body – healthy, muscular, 25-30 year’s old · Microscopic examination – hands neatly manicured and therefore no sign of hard labour, well-groomed = high status – reveals culture of social

The Usefulness of Dendrochronology to Archaeology

1925 words - 8 pages archaeology in a different way also. In 1970 Furgeson was the first archaeologist to use dendrochronology to calibrate carbon -- 14 dating. By plotting the true date, achieved by counting the tree rings, against the radiocarbon date, the result can be used to establish actual carbon -- 14 and carbon -- 12 ratios. These ratios can then be used to convert the radiocarbon results from different samples into calendar dates. When Furgeson conducted his

Human Osteology

1762 words - 7 pages started the series of 'revolutions' and dramatically changed our perceptions of prehistoric archaeology. (Hunter et al., 1996)The first physic-chemical dating technique was used by radiocarbon to find acceptance in archaeology, and it is still the case that the vast majority of dates obtained by archaeologists are radiocarbon dates. However it is not the only technique available. Other dating techniques are now used to extend the time-scale back

Kennewick Man History and legalities

568 words - 2 pages scientifically find who the actual descendants of the Kennewick Man were. To do this the remains were sent to the Burke Museum of Natural History in Seattle ( /burkemuseum/kmannews 2002 1.). To find the true descendants DNA tests and radiocarbon dating must be done on the remains, the problem is these test require a small amount of destruction to be done on the remains but this could not be done until legal issues are resolved

Graubelle Man Description Essay - Lucas Heights - Essay

1072 words - 5 pages naked and had no items with him or around him. Following a more detailed examination involving the science of biology, it was revealed that he was 30 years of age at the time, stood at 1.75m tall and also had 5cm of hair remaining as well as a stubble on his chin. Using the science of Physics through radiocarbon dating we can determine certain aspects involving Grauballe Man’s death. It determines that the so called date of the age of the body is

Carbon Dating

2516 words - 11 pages Carbon dating is a scientific technique in which scientists and archaeologists are able to estimate the age of materials such as wood through the decay of Carbon-14. This process can allow scientists to determine the age of such items up to about 58,000 and 62,000 years before the present time. Carbon dating was first discovered by Willard Libby in 1949 in which he was awarded a noble peace prize. Prior to this introduction, carbon dating has

Similar Essays

Radiocarbon Dating: Merits And Drawbacks Essay

2561 words - 10 pages The method of radiocarbon dating and its potential usefulness was discovered and developed by a team of scientists led by the late Dr. Willard Libby. He later received a Nobel Peace Prize for chemistry. Since the formation and calibration of radiocarbon dating, it has risen to become the field standard for dating all carbon containing substances. Radiocarbon dating has lead to the development of other radioisotope dating methods, such as

The Science Of Radiocarbon Dating Essay

1925 words - 8 pages The Science of Radiocarbon Dating When we think of history, we think of important people, places, cultures, events, and much more. The backbone of history rests on its chronology. It gives us the "when" of basic analysis. It gives us a frame of reference, the order of things. Before having an "absolute" way of determining dates, history was based in guesses and assumptions. Many attempts were made to organize the dates of the past. Some

Carbon 14 Essay

1807 words - 7 pages irradiation. Carbon-14 can also be found in living organisms because carbon-14 atoms combine with oxygen to later on form carbon dioxide, which plants absorb for photosynthesis and then animals and humans eat these plants and take in carbon-14 as well (Brain, N.D.).Carbon-14 is used in the important process of radiocarbon dating (carbon dating). Carbon dating is a radiometric dating (technique used to date materials such as rocks) technique that

Digging Up History Research Paper Social Studies Research Paper

420 words - 2 pages Name:! S.S. 8-___! Date:!! “Digging Up History”!! Directions: Read the article “Digging Up History”, and study the cross section of the mound or “tell”. Then answer the following questions, be sure to restate the entire prompt, and to include an explanation or evidence for your answers. !!!! 1. Describe how radiocarbon dating works.!!!!!!! 2. Identify three objects that the Stone Age people left behind.!!!!!! 3. Define Archaeology.!!!!!! 4