Carbon dating questions answers

How can half-life be described in terms of radioactive decay?

What are some examples of radioisotopes? What is radioactive carbon dating? How can carbon 14 be used in biology? How can carbon 14 be used to date organic material?

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How carbon 14 dating is done? How does carbon 14 decay? See all questions in Radioactive Carbon Dating. The half-life of a radioactive isotope describes the amount of time that it takes half of the isotope in a sample to decay. In the case of radiocarbon dating, the half-life of carbon 14 is 5, 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, years ago.

After 5, years, the amount of carbon 14 left in the body is half of the original amount. If the amount of carbon 14 is halved every 5, years, it will not take very long to reach an amount that is too small to analyze. When finding the age of an organic organism we need to consider the half-life of carbon 14 as well as the rate of decay, which is —0. The isochron dating technique was thought to be infallible because it supposedly covered the assumptions about starting conditions and closed systems.


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This problem cannot be overlooked, especially in evaluating the numerical time scale. Similar questions can also arise in applying Sm-Nd [samarium-neodymium] and U-Pb [uranium-lead] isochron methods. Clearly, there are factors other than age responsible for the straight lines obtained from graphing isotope ratios. Another currently popular dating method is the uranium-lead concordia technique. This effectively combines the two uranium-lead decay series into one diagram. Numerous models, or stories, have been developed to explain such data. Again, the stories are evaluated according to their own success in agreeing with the existing long ages belief system.

What types of artifact are best dated with carbon-14 - a method called radiocarbon dating?

Andrew Snelling has suggested that fractionation sorting of elements in the molten state in the Earth's mantle could be a significant factor in explaining the ratios of isotope concentrations which are interpreted as ages. As long ago as , Nobel Prize nominee Melvin Cook , professor of metallurgy at the University of Utah, pointed out evidence that lead isotope ratios, for example, may involve alteration by important factors other than radioactive decay. Thorium has a long half-life decays very slowly and is not easily moved out of the rock, so if the lead came from thorium decay, some thorium should still be there.

The concentrations of lead, lead, and lead suggest that the lead came about by neutron capture conversion of lead to lead to lead When the isotope concentrations are adjusted for such conversions, the ages calculated are reduced from some Ma to recent. Other ore bodies seemed to show similar evidence. Cook recognized that the current understanding of nuclear physics did not seem to allow for such a conversion under normal conditions, but he presents evidence that such did happen, and even suggests how it could happen. Robert Gentry has pointed out that the amount of helium and lead in zircons from deep bores is not consistent with an evolutionary age of 1, Ma for the granite rocks in which they are found.

Furthermore, the amount of helium in zircons from hot rock is also much more consistent with a young Earth helium derives from the decay of radioactive elements.

Carbon Dating Questions

The lead and helium results suggest that rates of radioactive decay may have been much higher in the recent past. Humphreys has suggested that this may have occurred during creation week and the flood. This would make things look much older than they really are when current rates of decay are applied to dating.

Whatever caused such elevated rates of decay may also have been responsible for the lead isotope conversions claimed by Cook above. Decaying radioactive particles in solid rock cause spherical zones of damage to the surrounding crystal structure. A speck of radioactive element such as Uranium, for example, will leave a sphere of discoloration of characteristically different radius for each element it produces in its decay chain to lead Gentry has researched radiohalos for many years, and published his results in leading scientific journals.

Some of the intermediate decay products—such as the polonium isotopes—have very short half-lives they decay quickly. For example, Po has a half-life of just 3 minutes. Curiously, rings formed by polonium decay are often found embedded in crystals without the parent uranium halos. Now the polonium has to get into the rock before the rock solidifies, but it cannot derive a from a uranium speck in the solid rock, otherwise there would be a uranium halo.

Either the polonium was created primordial, not derived from uranium , or there have been radical changes in decay rates in the past. Gentry has addressed all attempts to criticize his work. Whatever process was responsible for the halos could be a key also to understanding radiometric dating. There are many lines of evidence that the radiometric dates are not the objective evidence for an old Earth that many claim, and that the world is really only thousands of years old. We don't have all the answers, but we do have the sure testimony of the Word of God to the true history of the world.

Today, a stable carbon isotope, 13 C , is measured as an indication of the level of discrimination against 14 C. Radiation from atomic testing, like cosmic rays, causes the conversion of 14 N to 14 C.

How accurate are Carbon and other radioactive dating methods? • ufymfreelovan.cf

Tree ring dating dendrochronology has been used in an attempt to extend the calibration of the calibration of carbon dating earlier than historical records allow, but this depends on temporal placement of fragments of wood from long dead trees using carbon dating, assuming straight-line extrapolation backwards.

Government Printing Office, Washington D. Musk ox muscle was dated at 24, years, but hair was dated at 17, years. Corrected dates bring the difference in age approximately within the life span of an ox. With sloth cave dung, standard carbon dates of the lower layers suggested less than 2 pellets per year were produced by the sloths. Correcting the dates increased the number to a more realistic 1. Institute for Creation Research, Baker Books, , pp. Footnote 14 lists many instances. For example, six cases were reported by D. A large excess was reported in D. The isochron technique involves collecting a number of rock samples from different parts of the rock unit being dated.

The concentration of a parent radioactive isotope, such as rubidium, is graphed against the concentration of a daughter isotope, such as strontium, for all the samples. A straight line is drawn through these points, representing the ratio of the parent: The method involves dividing both the parent and daughter concentrations by the concentration of a similar stable isotope—in this case, strontium Austin, editor, Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe Santee, CA: Institute for Creation Research, , pp.


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  • Vardiman, The Age of the Earth's Atmosphere: Third ICC , R. Walsh, editor, , pp. Second ICC , , 2: Provine, online at http: Springer Verlag, , pp.

    Cook , Prehistory and Earth Models London: Earth Science Associates, Wise, letter to the editor, and replies by M. An international team of creationist scientists is actively pursuing a creationist understanding of radioisotope dating. Known as the RATE Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth group, it combines the skills of various physicists and geologists to enable a multi-disciplinary approach to the subject.

    Interesting insights are likely to come from such a group. Edited by Don Batten, Ph.

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    How accurate are Carbon and other radioactive dating methods? Hungarian , Russian , Spanish P eople who ask about carbon 14 C dating usually want to know about the radiometric [1] dating methods that are claimed to give millions and billions of years—carbon dating can only give thousands of years. We will deal with carbon dating first and then with the other dating methods.

    How the carbon clock works Carbon has unique properties that are essential for life on Earth. Other radiometric dating methods There are various other radiometric dating methods used today to give ages of millions or billions of years for rocks. To derive ages from such measurements, unprovable assumptions have to be made such as: Decay rates have always been constant.