Question: How is the date of carbon C calculated?

Carbon dating is based upon the decay of 14C, a radioactive isotope of carbon with a relatively long half-life (5700 years). While 12C is the most abundant carbon isotope, there is a close to constant ratio of 12C to 14C in the environment, and hence in the molecules, cells, and tissues of living organisms.

How Do You Measure C 14?

There are three principal techniques used to measure carbon 14 content of any given sample— gas proportional counting, liquid scintillation counting, and accelerator mass spectrometry. Gas proportional counting is a conventional radiometric dating technique that counts the beta particles emitted by a given sample.

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