Science Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

What are two examples of radiocarbon dating?

Expert Answers info

wordprof eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write1,654 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science

Because carbon isotopes have a half-life, carbon-based artifacts can be roughly dated.  One recent example was the carbon-dating of the Shroud of Turin to help establish its authenticity.  Paleontologists use carbon-dating on bones found at burial sites to determine the age of the settlement.  In botany the process can often aid in determining plant species, how old tree trunks are, and similar questions.  The process is painstaking ad fraught with error; for example, the Turin investigation may have been polluted by pollen from medieval times that fell on the fabric.  It also is only applicable on carbon forms; for example, fossilized trees cannot be dated (unless only partially) because in fossilization, the vegetable, carbon-based form been displaced by silicon-based material.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

salomigoody | Student

Radio carbon dating is a method to determine the age of any sample which has a organic matter.The sample to be radiocarbon dated should be handled with utmost care.seeds,paper, charcoal, bones,blood residues,twigs,fabrics,pollen are some of the materials which can undergo radiocarbon dating.willard Libby developed radiocarbon dating to measure the radioactivity.Radio carbon or carbon 14 is an isotope of the element carbon that is unstable and weakly radioactive.The living organisma assimilate C14 from CO2 throughout their life time.once they die the C14 starts to decrease.Thus the age of the sample can be calculated.