Question: How is carbon-14 used to determine the age of samples?

Radiocarbon decays slowly in a living organism, and the amount lost is continually replenished as long as the organism takes in air or food. Because carbon-14 decays at this constant rate, an estimate of the date at which an organism died can be made by measuring the amount of its residual radiocarbon.

How is carbon-14 used to determine the ages of wood bones and other artifacts?

How do scientist use Carbon-14 to determine the age of an artifact? To measure the amount of radiocarbon left in a artifact, scientists burn a small piece to convert it into carbon dioxide gas. Radiation counters are used to detect the electrons given off by decaying Carbon-14 as it turns into nitrogen.

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