Carbon 14 for dating objects
Once an organism dies, it stops taking in carbon-14.
Radiocarbon (carbon-14 or C) forms continually today in the earth’s upper atmosphere.
Seldom has a single discovery generated such wide public interest.” Libby’s research demonstrated the usefulness of carbon-14 in dating samples thousands of years old.
Though radiocarbon dating clearly enjoys “wide public interest,” it also generates much confusion and discord among Christians, which leads to an obvious question: is Libby’s celebrated work a reliable technique for dating ancient objects?
When Libby developed the radiocarbon dating technique, he validated the method by comparing measured carbon ratios (carbon-14/carbon-12) from artifacts of known age with predictions of the ratio expected by assuming the decay rate.
Radiocarbon dating is one of the best known archaeological dating techniques available to scientists, and the many people in the general public have at least heard of it.
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After radiocarbon forms, the nuclei of the carbon-14 atoms are unstable, so over time they progressively decay back to nuclei of stable nitrogen-14.3 A neutron breaks down to a proton and an electron, and the electron is ejected. The ejected electrons are called beta particles and make up what is called beta radiation. Different carbon-14 atoms revert to nitrogen-14 at different times, which explains why radioactive decay is considered a random process.