How many years can carbon dating go back Filthy granny chat 35p
Carbon-14 is continually formed in nature by the interaction of neutrons with nitrogen-14 in the Earth’s atmosphere; the neutrons required for this reaction are produced by cosmic rays interacting with the atmosphere.
Radiocarbon present in molecules of atmospheric carbon dioxide enters the biological carbon cycle: it is absorbed from the air by green plants and then passed on to animals through the food chain.
Over the past six decades, the amount of radiocarbon in people or their remains depends heavily on when they were born or, more precisely, when their tissues were formed.
To determine year of death, the researchers used radiocarbon levels in soft tissues.
The researchers found that year-of-death determinations based on nails were accurate to within three years.
The generally poor post-mortem preservation of soft tissues would be a limiting factor to this approach.
The researchers found that if they assumed tooth enamel radiocarbon content to be determined by the atmospheric level at the time the tooth was formed, then they could deduce the year of birth.
They found that for teeth formed after 1965, enamel radiocarbon content predicted year of birth within 1.5 years.
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The new method is based on the fact that over the past 60 years, environmental levels of radiocarbon have been significantly perturbed by mid-20th-century episodes of above-ground nuclear weapons testing.