Dictionary definition carbon dating


  1. radiocarbon dating
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  4. What does radiometric dating mean?
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radiocarbon dating

Starting where Boltwood and Libby left off, scientists began to search for other long-lived isotopes. They developed the uranium-thorium method, the potassium-argon method, and the rubidium-strontium method, all of which are based on the transformation of one element into another. They also improved the equipment used to detect these elements, and in , scientists first used a cyclotron particle accelerator as a mass spectrometer.

Using the cyclotron, carbon — 14 dating could be used for objects as old as , years, while samples containing radioactive beryllium could be dated as far back as 10 — 30 million years. A newer method of radioactive tracing involves the use of a new clock, based on the radioactive decay of uranium to protactinium.


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Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia. As a result of cosmic radiation a small number of atmospheric nitrogen nuclei are continuously being transformed by neutron bombardment into radioactive nuclei of carbon— Some of these radiocarbon atoms find their way into living trees and other plants in the form of carbon dioxide , as a result of photosynthesis.

When the tree is cut down photosynthesis stops and the ratio of radiocarbon atoms to stable carbon atoms begins to fall as the radiocarbon decays. The technique was developed by Willard F. Libby —80 and his coworkers in — This radio-isotope decays to form nitrogen, with a half-life of years. When a living organism dies, it ceases to take carbon dioxide into its body, so that the amount of C 14 it contains is fixed relative to its total weight. Over the centuries, this quantity steadily diminishes.

Carbon Dating - Meaning - Pronunciation -- Word Wor(l)d - Audio Video Dictionary

Refined chemical and physical analysis is used to determine the exact amount remaining, and from this the age of a specimen is deduced. The ratio between them changes as radioactive carbon decays and is not replaced by exchange with the atmosphere.

carbon dating

Print this article Print all entries for this topic Cite this article. Carbon dating Carbon dating is a technique used to determine the approximate age of once-living materials. See also Fossils and fossilization; Geochemistry. Learn more about citation styles Citation styles Encyclopedia.

What does radiometric dating mean?

Modern Language Association http: Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free! It originally meant "having wings".

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carbon dating

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