How does carbon 14 dating work

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The resulting data, in the form of a calibration curve, is now used to convert a given measurement of radiocarbon in a sample into an estimate of the sample's calendar age.Other corrections must be made to account for the proportion of throughout the biosphere (reservoir effects).Libby and coworkers, and it has provided a way to determine the ages of different materials in archeology, geology, geophysics, and other branches of science.

Since Nitrogen gas makes up about 78 percent of the Earth's air, by volume, a considerable amount of Carbon-14 is produced.In addition to permitting more accurate dating within archaeological sites than previous methods, it allows comparison of dates of events across great distances.Histories of archaeology often refer to its impact as the "radiocarbon revolution".To measure the amount of radiocarbon left in a artifact, scientists burn a small piece to convert it into carbon dioxide gas.Radiation counters are used to detect the electrons given off by decaying Carbon-14 as it turns into nitrogen.

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