Carbon dating accurate not ask a guy dating advice

We've been doing this for a long time, and have a huge set of data about carbon-14 and how to measure it.It doesn't work further back than 50,000 years or so, since anything older than that has very little carbon-14 left in it, but new techniques are extending that date range further back.Its reliability is not perfect, but most of the time isn't off by more than 3-5%.The rarer form of carbon "carbon 14" is unstable and decays in a predictable way over time.We know that the decay rate of carbon, which has a half life of 5730 years.So when we sample a specimen and find out how much radiocarbon there is left, we can use the decay rate to find out quite precisely when that organism died.It is radioactive, meaning that it slowly decays (and turns into nitrogen).

This may make it sound like a bad deal, but it's also important to note these measurements are generally not used in isolation, but in combination with other dating techniques, which both allow us to build confidence (they tend to line up well in a predictable fashion, which we wouldn't expect with random results) and also discard outliers (like if some event totally messed up the results, we can see the discrepancy and discard the bad finding).The oldest dates we can measure using this method is around 50,000 years before it becomes less accurate.There will simply be less and less carbon to measure, decreasing accuracy.Experimental evidence has built up over time to give a "calibration curve", a good set of measures of what this carbon level was, which in turn allows fairly decent estimates of dates Radiocarbon dating gets a lot more complex when you scratch under the surface.The reliability depends on the amount of carbon-14 present in the diet/nutrient uptake of the organism being at a predictable level.

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