Radio active carbon dating


22-Mar-2020 16:07

­The carbon-14 atoms that cosmic rays create combine with oxygen to form carbon dioxide, which plants absorb naturally and incorporate into plant fibers by photosynthesis.

When this method was first developed, a fairly large amount of carbon was necessary for dating but use of the AMS (accelerator mass spectrometer) today necessitates only a few milligrams for analysis.

This number is called a standard deviation and is a measure of the spread of measurements around the mean (average).

One standard deviation has a 68% probability and two standard deviations have a 95% probability.

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The ratio of normal carbon (carbon-12) to carbon-14 in the air and in all living things at any given time is nearly constant.