Carbon-14 (14C ) is unstable, and degrades exponentially over time.
All organisms have a certain amount of 14C present in their bodies – it is absorbed out of the atmosphere by plants during the process of photosynthesis, and transferred to animals when the plants are eaten.
These web sites are maintained by members of the Shroud Science Group: The Shroud of Turin (B. Porter) Shroud of Turin Education Project (in memory of Father Kim Dreisbach) Scientific papers (of G. Svensson) Council for Study of the Shroud of Turin (A. Dedicated at the University of Chicago on October 10, 2016.And so this will give us pretty good estimates over tens of thousands of years, up to 50,000 years.And frankly, carbon-14 isn't even useful beyond, really, 50,000 or 60,000 years.Alternative dating techniques such as dendrochronology may be employed to confirm the results of radiocarbon dating.
Calibration Curve Image Source: “Radiocarbon Dating”. There are ways to look back at specific years and figure out the relative amounts of carbon-14, so it is a pretty good way of estimating how old living things are, especially things that are less than 50,000 years old.Radiocarbon dating Organic matter contains a certain amount of carbon-14, a radioactive isotope of carbon (under normal conditions carbon has an atomic weight of 12).Most images on this site are copyrighted and used with permission.Please do not copy images without obtaining permission of the copyright owner.In 1946, Willard Libby proposed an innovative method for dating organic materials by measuring their content of carbon-14, a newly discovered radioactive isotope of carbon.