how carbon dating is used to determine the age of fossils

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In this section we will explore the use of carbon dating to determine the age of fossil remains. Carbon is a key element in biologically important molecules. During the lifetime of an organism, carbon is brought into the cell from the environment in the form of either carbon dioxide or carbon-based food molecules such as glucose; then used to build biologically important molecules such as sugars, proteins, fats, and nucleic acids. These molecules are subsequently incorporated into the cells and tissues that make up living things. Therefore, organisms from a single-celled bacteria to the largest of the dinosaurs leave behind carbon-based remains. Carbon dating is based upon the decay of 14 How carbon dating is used to determine the age of fossils, a radioactive isotope of carbon with a relatively long half-life years.

Chat or rant, adult content, spam, insulting other members, show more. Harm to minors, violence or threats, harassment or privacy invasion, impersonation or how carbon dating is used to determine the age of fossils, fraud or phishing, show more. Yahoo Answers. How is carbon dating used to how carbon dating is used to determine the age of fossils the age of animal and plant fossils?

Carbon dating is used to determine the age of biological artifacts up to 50, years old. This technique is widely used on recent artifacts, but educators how carbon dating is used to determine the age of fossils students alike should note that this technique will not work on older fossils like those of the dinosaurs alleged to be millions of years old. This technique is not restricted to bones; it can also be used on cloth, wood and plant fibers.
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The information found here reflects completed How carbon dating is used to determine the age of fossils work. The content of this page is static and has not been updated since the mid 's. Radioactive elements were incorporated into the Earth when the Solar System formed. All rocks and minerals contain tiny amounts of these radioactive elements. Radioactive elements how carbon dating is used to determine the age of fossils unstable; they breakdown spontaneously into more stable atoms over time, a process known as radioactive decay. Radioactive decay occurs at a constant rate, specific to each radioactive isotope. Since the s, geologists have used radioactive elements as natural "clocks" for determining numerical ages of certain types of rocks. Radiometric clocks are "set" when each rock forms. It's this resetting process that gives us the ability to date rocks that formed at different times in earth history.

The ratio of carbon to carbon at the moment of death is the same as every other living thing, but the carbon decays and is not replaced. The carbon decays with its half-life of 5, years, while the amount of carbon remains constant in the sample. By looking at the ratio of carbon to carbon in the sample and comparing it to the ratio in a living organism, it is possible how carbon dating is used to determine the age of fossils determine the age of a formerly living thing fairly precisely. So, if you had a fossil that had 10 percent carbon compared to a living sample, then that fossil would be:. Because the half-life of carbon is 5, years, it is only reliable for dating objects up to about 60, years old.

The most widely known form of radiometric dating is carbon dating. This is what archaeologists use to determine the age of human-made artifacts. But carbon dating won't work on dinosaur bones. The half-life of carbon is only 5, years, so how carbon dating is used to determine the age of fossils dating is only effective on samples that are less than 50, years old. Dinosaur bones, on the other hand, are millions of years old -- some fossils are billions of years old.
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