Chemistry help carbon 14 dating
Renfrew (1973) called it 'the radiocarbon revolution' in describing its impact upon the human sciences.
Oakley (1979) suggested its development meant an almost complete re-writing of the evolution and cultural emergence of the human species.
Radiocarbon dating has been one of the most significant discoveries in 20th century science.
If you could watch a single atom of a radioactive isotope, U-238, for example, you wouldn’t be able to predict when that particular atom might decay.
It might take a millisecond, or it might take a century. But if you have a large enough sample, a pattern begins to emerge.
The amount of carbon-14 in the air has stayed the same for thousands of years.
There is a small amount of radioactive carbon-14 in all living organisms because it enters the food chain.