Start C 14 dating video

C 14 dating video

So, a carbon atom might have six neutrons, or seven, or possibly eight—but it would always have six protons.

The number of neutrons in the nucleus can vary in any given type of atom.

Meet paleoclimatologist Scott Stine, who uses radiocarbon dating to study changes in climate. What we think of as normal carbon is called carbon-12: six protons plus six neutrons. Several times a year, scientist Scott Stine travels to the shores of Mono Lake, near Yosemite National Park. He's studying the long history of droughts in California, trying to determine how frequently they occur and how long they last.

Find out what it means for an isotope to be radioactive and how the half-life of carbon-14 allows scientists to date organic materials. But about one percent of carbon atoms have an extra neutron, giving them seven. Over the millennia, the water level has risen and fallen, as the area has cycled between wet periods and dry times. During times when the climate was dry, Mono Lake dropped down, exposed the shore lands, and allowed trees and shrubs to grow.

Scientists use a technique called radiometric dating to estimate the ages of rocks, fossils, and the earth.

Many people have been led to believe that radiometric dating methods have proved the earth to be billions of years old.

Carbon dating has given archeologists a more accurate method by which they can determine the age of ancient artifacts.

Libby invented carbon dating for which he received the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1960.

There are two main applications for radiometric dating.