Carbon dating age determination
Because carbon-14 decays at this constant rate, an estimate of the date at which an organism died can be made by measuring the amount of its residual radiocarbon.
This is the clock that permits levels of c14 in organic archaeological, geological, and paleontological samples to be converted into an estimate of time.
Geologists measure the abundance of these radioisotopes instead to date rocks.
Radiocarbon decays slowly in a living organism, and the amount lost is continually replenished as long as the organism takes in air or food.
Carbon dating is used by archeologists to date trees, plants, and animal remains; as well as human artifacts made from wood and leather; because these items are generally younger than 50,000 years.
Carbon is found in different forms in the environment – mainly in the stable form of carbon-12 and the unstable form of carbon-14.