Carbon 14 dating used archaeology
When an organism dies, it stops absorbing the radioactive isotope and immediately starts decaying (7).
As previously mentioned, the half life of the C isotope is 5,730 years - this means that it takes 5,730 years to reach half the radioactivity that the organism had at the point of death, another 5,730 years to reach 25% radioactivity it had at the point of death and so on.
There are three carbon isotopes that occur as part of the Earth's natural processes; these are carbon-12, carbon-13 and carbon-14.
Increasingly though, students are learning about the principles of radiocarbon dates in archaeology, palaeontology and climate science degrees and can combine cross-disciplinary studies.AMS works slightly differently; it converts the atoms of the sample into fast-moving ions so that they become charged atoms.By applying magnetic and electrical fields, the mass of these ions is measured and the accelerator is used to remove ions that might contaminate the dating.The sample passes through several accelerators in order to remove as many atoms as possible until the C pass into the detector.These latter atoms are used as part of the calibration process to measure the relative number of isotopes (9).
date of organic material - but an approximate age, usually within a range of a few years either way.