In fact, this form of dating has been used to date the age of rocks brought back to Earth from the moon.So, we see there are a number of different methods for dating rocks and other non-living things, but what if our sample is organic in nature?
Continue Reading Carbon dating works by comparing the amount of carbon-14 in a sample to the amount of carbon-12.
Because organisms stop taking in carbon-14 at death, the age of the material can be precisely determined by this ratio of carbon isotopes.
Human remains, fossils and organic materials from archaeological sites are all dated using carbon-14.
Books, clothing and food remains are all archaeological artifacts that can be carbon dated.
For example, how do we know that the Iceman, whose frozen body was chipped out of glacial ice in 1991, is 5,300 years old?
Well, we know this because samples of his bones and hair and even his grass boots and leather belongings were subjected to radiocarbon dating.However, rocks and other objects in nature do not give off such obvious clues about how long they have been around.So, we rely on radiometric dating to calculate their ages.This inconsistent amount of carbon-14 renders the test less accurate but opens up testing possibilities not available for older samples.For example, it is possible to determine the age of a person born after the 1940s using the carbon-14 content of teeth.So, we start out with two isotopes of uranium that are unstable and radioactive.