Carbon dating laboratories

20-Jun-2019 14:29

Carbon is an especially important element because so many biological molecules are made from it in living things.

In Carbon-14 decay, the unstable Carbon-14 atom (C-14) is referred to as the parent and the Nitrogen-14 atom is known as the daughter.

Note that it is totally unpredictable when a specific atom will decay.

However, in any sample that might be studied or dated, there are very large numbers of atoms.

So, the fact that Uranium has a half-life in billions of years says nothing about how old the Earth is in itself. Carbon-14 dating, often called radiocarbon dating, has been done for years and the techniques for it have been much refined.

To date an object with C-14, the concentrations of C-14, C-12, and other isotopes are measured as precisely as possible.

If a Carbon isotope has one extra neutron it is called Carbon-13.