# Carbon dating test

This equilibrium persists in living organisms as long as they continue living, but when they die, they no longer 'breathe' or eat new 14 carbon isotopes Now it's fairly simple to determine how many total carbon atoms should be in a sample given its weight and chemical makeup.And given the fact that the ratio of carbon 14 to carbon 12 in living organisms is approximately 1 : 1.35x10 In actually measuring these quantities, we take advantage of the fact that the rate of decay (how many radioactive emissions occur per unit time) is dependent on how many atoms there are in a sample (this criteria leads to an exponential decay rate).We have devices to measure the radioactivity of a sample, and the ratio described above translates into a rate of 15.6 decays/min per gram of carbon in a living sample.And if you play with the exponential decay equations, you can come up with the nice formula (1/2)=(current decay rate)/(initial decay rate), where n is the number of half lives that have passed.What would happen if a dinosaur bone were carbon dated?- At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Scientists dated dinosaur bones using the Carbon dating method.

They should not change the facts to fit the theory.

This means that given a statistically large sample of carbon 14, we know that if we sit it in a box, go away, and come back in 5730 years, half of it will still be carbon 14, and the other half will have decayed.

Or in other words, if we have a box, and we don't know how old it is but we know it started with 100 carbon 14 atoms, and we open it and find only 50 carbon 14 atoms and some other stuff, we could say, 'Aha!

However it is possible, when dating very old rocks for instance, to use longer lived isotopes for dating on a longer time scale.

3) The assumption we based this on (that the ratio of carbon 14 in the atmosphere and thus in living organisms is constant) is a decent one for ballpark figures, but this method will not be able to give results accurate to, say, a couple of minutes.