What is “Carbon dating?”


Carbon consumption of animals and plants ceases after death and only the decaying process of C-14 occurs continuously after that. Meanwhile, inside dead bodies of plants and animals, the ratio between C-14 and C-12 modifies continuously instead of remaining constant because C-12 is non-radioactive. Hence, it is possible to calculate the time passed since the death of a plant or animal by measuring the radioactivity of C-14 and ratio of C-14 to C-12 present in their body. This method is known as the ‘carbon dating’ method was applied in palaeontology and anthropology for determining the age of human fossils and manuscripts. On identifying the age of fossils with such technique, it becomes easy to determine the information about other erstwhile organisms. The carbon dating method is according to the radioactive decay of naturally occurring C-14 and it is developed by Willard Libby.

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