Is radioactive dating accurate

11-Sep-2017 05:31

So, if we find the remains of a dead creature whose C-12 to C-14 ratio is half of what it's supposed to be (that is, one C-14 atom for every two trillion C-12 atoms instead of one in every trillion) we can assume the creature has been dead for about 5,730 years (since half of the radiocarbon is missing, it takes about 5,730 years for half of it to decay back into nitrogen).If the ratio is a quarter of what it should be (one in every four trillion) we can assume the creature has been dead for 11,460 year (two half-lives).Specimens which lived and died during a period of intense volcanism would appear older than they really are if they were dated using this technique.The ratio can further be affected by C-14 production rates in the atmosphere, which in turn is affected by the amount of cosmic rays penetrating the earth's atmosphere.This man-made fluctuation wasn't a natural occurrence, but it demonstrates the fact that fluctuation is possible and that a period of natural upheaval upon the earth could greatly affect the ratio.

This can result in the appearance of Ads we do not endorse and with which we seriously disagree. This is how carbon dating works: Carbon is a naturally abundant element found in the atmosphere, in the earth, in the oceans, and in every living creature.C-12 is by far the most common isotope, while only about one in a trillion carbon atoms is C-14.The amount of cosmic rays penetrating the earth's atmosphere is itself affected by things like the earth's magnetic field which deflects cosmic rays.

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Precise measurements taken over the last 140 years have shown a steady decay in the strength of the earth's magnetic field.The half-life of carbon 14 is approximate 5,730 years.