# How to solve carbon 14 dating problem dating in la movie

If a fossil contains 60% of its original carbon, how old is the fossil? That means this is how long it takes for half the nuclei to decay.After 5600 years, if we start with a gram, we end up with half a gram.This rather complex formula shows you how to solve this puzzle using accepted scientific methods.

At any particular time all living organisms have approximately the same ratio of carbon 12 to carbon 14 in their tissues.

When an organism dies it ceases to replenish carbon in its tissues and the decay of carbon 14 to nitrogen 14 changes the ratio of carbon 12 to carbon 14.

Libby invented carbon dating for which he received the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1960.

The halflife of carbon 14 is 5730 ± 30 years, and the method of dating lies in trying to determine how much carbon 14 (the radioactive isotope of carbon) is present in the artifact and comparing it to levels currently present in the atmosphere.

Experts can compare the ratio of carbon 12 to carbon 14 in dead material to the ratio when the organism was alive to estimate the date of its death.

Radiocarbon dating can be used on samples of bone, cloth, wood and plant fibers.

Above is a graph that illustrates the relationship between how much Carbon 14 is left in a sample and how old it is.

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$$ Time in this equation is measured in years from the moment when the plant dies ($t = 0$) and the amount of Carbon 14 remaining in the preserved plant is measured in micrograms (a microgram is one millionth of a gram).

So when $t = 0$ the plant contains 10 micrograms of Carbon 14.

The truth is, carbon-14 dating (or radiocarbon dating, as its also called) is not a precise dating method in many cases, due to faulty assumptions and other limitations on this method.

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