Carbon 14 is useful for dating fossils that are
Since then, geologists have made many tens of thousands of radiometric age determinations, and they have refined the earlier estimates.
A key point is that it is no longer necessary simply to accept one chemical determination of a rock’s age.
Where t is the age of the fossil (or the date of death) and ln() is the natural logarithm function.
If the fossil has 35% of its carbon 14 still, then we can substitute values into our equation.
Radiocarbon dating can be used on samples of bone, cloth, wood and plant fibers.
The half-life of a radioactive isotope describes the amount of time that it takes half of the isotope in a sample to decay.
Current understanding of the history of life is probably close to the truth because it is based on repeated and careful testing and consideration of data.In the case of radiocarbon dating, the half-life of carbon 14 is 5,730 years.This half life is a relatively small number, which means that carbon 14 dating is not particularly helpful for very recent deaths and deaths more than 50,000 years ago.In the past 150 years they have not found any fossils that Darwin would not have expected.New discoveries have filled in the gaps, and shown us in unimaginable detail the shape of the great ‘tree of life’.