Carbon-14 dating, also called radiocarbon dating, method of age determination that depends upon the decay to nitrogen of radiocarbon (carbon-14). 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.
What are the reasons why carbon-14 is used for dating?
Over time, carbon-14 decays in predictable ways. And with the help of radiocarbon dating, researchers can use that decay as a kind of clock that allows them to peer into the past and determine absolute dates for everything from wood to food, pollen, poop, and even dead animals and humans.
What is carbon-14 and how is it used?
carbon-14, the longest-lived radioactive isotope of carbon, whose decay allows the accurate dating of archaeological artifacts. The isotope also is used as a tracer in following the course of particular carbon atoms through chemical or biological transformations.