Pictures on radioactive dating

Since trees can have a lifespan of hundreds of years, its date of death might not even be relatively close to the date the archaeologists are looking for.Thorough research and cautiousness can eliminate accidental contamination and avoidable mistakes.Radiocarbon dating uses the naturally occurring isotope Carbon-14 to approximate the age of organic materials. Often, archaeologists use graves and plant remains to date sites.Since its conception by Willard Libby in 1949, it has been invaluable to the discipline.Though the calibrated date is more precise, many scholars still use the uncalibrated date in order to keep chronologies consistent in academic communities.Though it’s biggest, the calibration problem is not the only flaw of radiocarbon dating.

Unfortunately, the amount of Carbon-14 in the atmosphere has not been steady throughout history.If an archaeologist wanted to date a dead tree to see when humans used it to build tools, their readings would be significantly thrown off.This is because radiocarbon dating gives the date when the tree ceased its intake of Carbon-14—not when it was being used for weapons and other instruments!In fact, it has fluctuated a great deal over the years.This variation is caused by both natural processes and human activity.The answer to the problem of fluctuating amounts of this important isotope is calibration.

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