Radiocarbon dating also referred to as carbon dating or carbon dating is a method for determining the age of an object containing organic material by using the properties of radiocarbon , a radioactive isotope of carbon. The method was developed in the late s at the University of Chicago by Willard Libby , who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in It is based on the fact that radiocarbon 14 C is constantly being created in the atmosphere by the interaction of cosmic rays with atmospheric nitrogen. The resulting 14 C combines with atmospheric oxygen to form radioactive carbon dioxide , which is incorporated into plants by photosynthesis ; animals then acquire 14 C by eating the plants. When the animal or plant dies, it stops exchanging carbon with its environment, and thereafter the amount of 14 C it contains begins to decrease as the 14 C undergoes radioactive decay. Measuring the amount of 14 C in a sample from a dead plant or animal, such as a piece of wood or a fragment of bone, provides information that can be used to calculate when the animal or plant died.
Some limitations of dating methods
Radiocarbon Dating - American Chemical Society
Radiocarbon, or Carbon dating, was developed by W. Libby, E. Anderson and J. Arnold in
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The calibrated radiocarbon age often present a complex probability distribution which requires a large number of sampling process using standard Monte Carlo method to get a reasonable representation. This is because Monte Carlo simulation generates each point independently from the input PDF, it requires a larger number of sampling to get a reasonable representation of the PDF. For this 14C age, we can easily increase the sample size to perhaps 5, and we can get a decent representation of the input PDF.