Carbon dating how stuff works
Correction: The original version of this post misstated the cause of inaccuracy in first-generation radiocarbon dating.
It also linked to, and partially relied on, a website of dubious validity.
technology columnist David Pogue explores how isotopes of carbon can be used to determine the age of once-living matter. The difference between them is the number of neutrons in the nucleus.
Learn how variations in atomic structure form isotopes of an element and how the three natural isotopes of carbon differ from each other. Neutrons are electrically neutral particles that act as glue to hold atoms together. And that rare version of carbon has proven to be a crucial tool for unlocking the past.
When these (and other) problems are then taken into account, a scientist can interpret the result of the carbon dating within a Biblical timeframe, but even so, these results can not be used to the age of once-living things.
After all, the scientists haven’t been around that long, have they?