Limitations of carbon 14 dating

Two effects also interfere with the dating of very recent samples.

The testing of thermonuclear weapons produced an increase in atmospheric C they contain is infinitesimal.

When a creature dies, it ceases to consume more radiocarbon while the C-14 already in its body continues to decay back into nitrogen.

After about 60,000 years the quantity will be too small for our instruments to measure accurately, and the best we'll be able to say is that the sample is about 60,000 years old or more.

For this reason radiocarbon dating is of more interest to archaeologists than to geologists.

The limitations of radiometric dating can be split into two general categories, analytical limitations and natural limitations.

Analytical limitations encompass the limitations of the machinery that is being used to date a material.

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This is then transformed into isotopic ratios and then used to date the material.

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