Time is relative. Radiocarbon dating is a method that provides objective age estimates for carbon-based materials that originated from living organisms. Seventy years ago, American chemist Willard Libby devised an ingenious method for dating organic materials. Carbon is one of the elements which all living things are composed of. When we speak of the element Carbon, we most often refer to the most naturally abundant stable isotope 12 C.
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Radiocarbon dating analyses may be carried out on diverse natural materials such as lake sediments, groundwaters and surface waters, tree-rings, ice-cores, corals, soils and air. 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 following recommendations are not requirements, they are general guidelines. Samples used for radiocarbon dating must be handled carefully to avoid contamination. Thank you for visiting nature.
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