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You might remember that it was mentioned earlier that the amount of carbon-14 in living things is the same as the atmosphere.Once they die, they stop taking in carbon-14, and the amount present starts to decrease at a constant half-life rate.It is often used on valuable artwork to confirm authenticity.For example, look at this image of the opening of King Tutankhamen's tomb near Luxor, Egypt during the 1920s.You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree.Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.After viewing the video on carbon dating, use your newfound knowledge to: Did you know…We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities.
Measuring the amount of radioactive carbon-14 remaining makes it possible to work out how old the artifact is, whether it's a fossilized skeleton or a magnificent piece of artwork.As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 70,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.The half-life is the time required for half of the original sample of radioactive nuclei to decay.For example, if you start off with 1000 radioactive nuclei with a half-life of 10 days, you would have 500 left after 10 days; you would have 250 left after 20 days (2 half-lives); and so on.However, once the organism dies, the amount of carbon-14 steadily decreases.By measuring the amount of carbon-14 left in the organism, it's possible to work out how old it is.Try It risk-free Ever wondered how scientists know the age of old bones in an ancient site or how old a scrap of linen is?The technique used is called carbon dating, and in this lesson we will learn what this is and how it is used. Carbon dating, or radiocarbon dating, is a method used to date materials that once exchanged carbon dioxide with the atmosphere. In the late 1940s, an American physical chemist named Willard Libby first developed a method to measure radioactivity of carbon-14, a radioactive isotope.Radiocarbon dating has been used extensively since its discovery.Examples of use include analyzing charcoal from prehistoric caves, ancient linen and wood, and mummified remains.