A level physics carbon dating
Now one thing that it's important to keep in mind about carbon dating is that this is a really small number. The abundance, the natural abundance is already very small. You can usually date something that's under about 40 or 50,000 years old using this technique.
So if something's been dead for longer than a few carbon 14 half lives, there's not enough carbon 14 left to measure it accurately enough to really say for sure how long the thing's been dead.
Carbon-14 can yield dates of only “thousands of years” before it all breaks down.
Although many people think radiocarbon dating is used to date rocks, it is limited to dating things that contain the element carbon and were once alive (like fossils).
half the original level, we know the sample is around one half life or 5,700 years old.
So by measuring the C-14 level we work out how many half lives old the sample is and therefore how old it is.
And if you type that in your calculator you'll find that this specimen is 700, oh sorry, 7860 years dead. So that's the way that we can do these calculations. Let's do it a different, let's do a different one.
So that means the carbon 14 abundance can tell us how long something's been dead. So let's see how we can use this to do a problem. It's bound to have a carbon 14 ratio that's only 0.5 times 10 to the -12. The initial amount when he died must have been 1.3 because he was interacting with its environment. Alright, so that means that t is going to be, I'm just going to solve this equation real quickly, it's going to be 5700 years times the natural log of 0.5 over 1.3 divided by the natural log of one half.
Since all living organisms on Earth are made up of organic molecules that contain Carbon atoms derived from the atmosphere, they therefore contain Carbon-14 atoms.