carbon dating

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carbon dating

A radiometric dating method for determining the age of life forms which have died in the relatively recent past, having a limit of accuracy of about 60,000 years. Carbon dating is the result of cosmic radiation which bombards the Earth’s atmosphere, which constantly produces more 14C isotopes from 14N.

carbon dating

the dating of organic remains by measuring the radioactive carbon content. Atmospheric carbon dioxide contains carbon atoms of two types, ordinary carbon 12C and radioactive carbon 14C. Like other radioactive isotopes, 14C decays with age, so that the proportion of radioactive carbon present in, say, peat gives an indication of its age, assuming no more 14C has been incorporated in it since it was a live plant, and also that the amount of 14C in the atmosphere has remained constant. 14C has a HALF-LIFE of 5,570 years and one carbon atom in every million million in the atmosphere is radioactive. Dating organic remains by the use of 14C is a well-used and valuable technique, but not entirely accurate due to variations in atmospheric 14C over long periods of time. Comparisons with tree ring dates (see DENDROCHRONOLOGY have shown errors in the order of 900 years in 5,000.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the interview, Rogers explained why the 1988 carbon-14 dating had been invalid because samples contained significant amounts of new material from discrete repairs to the cloth.
However, in 1988, carbon-14 dating of a sample cut from a corner of the shroud indicated that the material originated between 1260 and 1390.
Carbon-14 dating of 100 of the specimens show that the cave has been almost continuously occupied during the past 40,000 years, which indicates ice didn't cover the cave's entrance for any extended period.
Its unique instruments and exploration vehicles range from a high-precision carbon-14 dating lab to the deep-diving submersible ALVIN and remotely operated and autonomous underwater vehicles.
Miller's team also used carbon-14 dating and a similar technique that relies on the radioactive decay of uranium atoms.
Oceanographers had previously relied on the carbon-14 dating technique to judge the age of deep-sea sediments, but this method reaches back only 45,000 years.
From carbon-14 dating of the sediment core layers, Bond pinpointed the ages of the peak coolings to 1,050, 3,050, 3,950, 5,650, and 8,050 years ago, with each cold spell lasting about 800 years.
Using the carbon-14 dating technique, Stute and his colleagues determined an age for each water sample.
The scientists, from the University of Pisa and the University of Milan, used carbon-14 dating to determine the age of ancient Adelie bones, feathers, eggs, and guano.
In the April 30 SCIENCE, Stanley and Warne reported that carbon-14 dating technique suggested that various parts of the delta were sinking 1 to 5 centimeters per decade.
Carbon-14 dating of organic material on the terrace indicates that the uplift occurred between 500 and 1,700 years ago.