How do archaeologists use radiocarbon dating

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It also has some applications in geology; its importance in dating organic materials cannot be underestimated enough.

In 1979, Desmond Clark said of the method “we would still be foundering in a sea of imprecisions sometime bred of inspired guesswork but more often of imaginative speculation” (3).

Typically (6): The above list is not exhaustive; most organic material is suitable so long as it is of sufficient age and has not mineralised - dinosaur bones are out as they no longer have any carbon left.AMS counts the quantity of C isotope is constantly formed in the upper atmosphere thanks to the effects of cosmic rays on nitrogen-14 atoms.It is oxidised quickly and absorbed in great quantities by all living organisms - animal and plant, land and ocean dwelling alike.C-14 is also found in all organic material on Earth, which means if we have a fossil that is less then 50,000 years old, we can accurately measure its age by counting the amount of C-14 atoms still present.Because the measurement is atomic, physical and chemical changes do not affect the levels, which radiocarbon dating (the official term) a great tool for archaeologists.

To get around that, researches use Accelerator Mass Spectrometers , which are able to reduce the size of samples needed to only 1 gram.

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