Limitations carbon 14 dating objects

Since carbon is fundamental to life, occurring along with hydrogen in all organic compounds, the detection of such an isotope might form the basis for a method to establish the age of ancient materials.

For example, the amount of cratering on the moon, based on currently observed cratering rates, would suggest that the moon is quite old.

The ensuing atomic interactions create a steady supply of c14 that rapidly diffuses throughout the atmosphere.

Plants take up c14 along with other carbon isotopes during photosynthesis in the proportions that occur in the atmosphere; animals acquire c14 by eating the plants (or other animals).

The Mayan calendar used 3114 BC as their reference.

More recently is the radiocarbon date of 1950 AD or before present, BP.

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Always the starting time of the ‘clock’ has to be assumed as well as the way in which the speed of the clock has varied over time.

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  1. Despite web cams being embedded everywhere, we just don’t video chat the way Star Trek, Back to the Future, and all the other futuristic films of the past thought we would.