Uses radioisotopes carbon 14 dating

These artifacts have gone through many carbon-14 half-lives and the amount of carbon-14 remaining in them is miniscule and very difficult to detect.Carbon dating cannot be used on most fossils, not only because they are almost always too old, but also because they rarely contain the original carbon of the organism.However, the carbon-14 already in the organism's body continues to decay at a constant rate.

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Scientists now realize that production of carbon-14 has not been constant over the last 10,000 years, but has changed as the radiation from the sun has changed.

Carbon dates reported in the 1950s and 1960s should be questioned, because those studies were conducted before carbon dating was calibrated by comparision with other dating methods.

At any given moment all living plants and animals have approximately the same percentage of carbon-14 in their bodies.

When a plant or animal dies it stops bringing in new carbon-14.

­ ­As soon as a living organism dies, it stops taking in new carbon.

The ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-14 at the moment of death is the same as every other living thing, but the carbon-14 decays and is not replaced.

This rules out carbon dating for most aquatic organisms, because they often obtain at least some of their carbon from dissolved carbonate rock.

The age of the carbon in the rock is different from that of the carbon in the air and makes carbon dating data for those organisms inaccurate under the assumptions normally used for carbon dating.

Nuclear tests, nuclear reactors and the use of nuclear weapons have also changed the composition of radioisotopes in the air over the last few decades.

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