Benefits of using radiocarbon dating
Archaeology and other human sciences use radiocarbon dating to prove or disprove theories.
Over the years, carbon 14 dating has also found applications in geology, hydrology, geophysics, atmospheric science, oceanography, paleoclimatology, and even biomedicine.
In fact, radiometric dating can be used to determine the age of the Earth, (5.54 billion years old) other planets, and celestial objects.
Radiometric dating is often referred to as “radioactive dating” and “carbon dating,” though many different types of isotopes can be used to identify an object’s age.
Radiometric dating is a process of identifying the age of a material based on known half-lives of decaying radioactive materials found in both organic and inorganic objects.
Radiometric dating is often used to determine the age of rocks, bones, and ancient artifacts.
"Everything which has come down to us from heathendom is wrapped in a thick fog; it belongs to a space of time we cannot measure.
No other scientific method has managed to revolutionize man’s understanding not only of his present but also of events that already happened thousands of years ago.
The ensuing atomic interactions create a steady supply of c14 that rapidly diffuses throughout the atmosphere.
Plants take up c14 along with other carbon isotopes during photosynthesis in the proportions that occur in the atmosphere; animals acquire c14 by eating the plants (or other animals).
Since carbon is fundamental to life, occurring along with hydrogen in all organic compounds, the detection of such an isotope might form the basis for a method to establish the age of ancient materials.
Libby, a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Chicago, predicted that a radioactive isotope of carbon, known as carbon-14, would be found to occur in nature.
People may have used the same garbage dump for over a million years. After a while, there is not enough radioactive carbon for the machinery to measure. If a person picked it up with his bare hands, some of the carbon from his skin may have mixed with the sample.