Why how carbon 14 dating done
Since the universe is estimated to be millions of years old, it was assumed that this equilibrium had already been reached.However, in the 1960s, the growth rate was found to be significantly higher than the decay rate; almost a third in fact.Equilibrium is the name given to the point when the rate of carbon production and carbon decay are equal.By measuring the rate of production and of decay (both eminently quantifiable), scientists were able to estimate that carbon in the atmosphere would go from zero to equilibrium in 30,000 – 50,000 years.This indicated that equilibrium had not in fact been reached, throwing off scientists’ assumptions about carbon dating. Sometimes carbon dating will agree with other evolutionary methods of age estimation, which is great.They attempted to account for this by setting 1950 as a standard year for the ratio of C-12 to C-14, and measuring subsequent findings against that. Other times, the findings will differ slightly, at which point scientists apply so-called ‘correction tables’ to amend the results and eliminate discrepancies.
Scientists use a technique called radiometric dating to estimate the ages of rocks, fossils, and the earth.
The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom determines the element.
For example, all carbon atoms have 6 protons, all atoms of nitrogen have 7 protons, and all oxygen atoms have 8 protons.
It has been summed up most succinctly in the words of American neuroscience Professor Bruce Brew: that samples of moss could be brought back to life after being frozen in ice. That carbon dating deemed the moss to have been frozen for over 1,500 years.
Now, if this carbon dating agrees with other evolutionary methods of determining age, the team could have a real discovery on their hands.