But I realized the other day that even as an adult with a fair amount of scientific knowledge, I could not articulate exactly how or why carbon dating works.So I did a bit of research to fill in the gaps in my understanding, and not surprisingly I found the details to be quite interesting.Ionization Inverse Square Law Interaction of RT/Matter Attenuation Coefficient Half-Value Layer Sources of Attenuation -Compton Scattering Geometric Unsharpness Filters in Radiography Scatter/Radiation Control Radiation Safety Radio-carbon dating is a method of obtaining age estimates on organic materials.The word "estimates" is used because there is a significant amount of uncertainty in these measurements.Archaeology and other human sciences use radiocarbon dating to prove or disprove theories.Over the years, carbon 14 dating has also found applications in geology, hydrology, geophysics, atmospheric science, oceanography, paleoclimatology, and even biomedicine.American physical chemist Willard Libby led a team of scientists in the post World War II era to develop a method that measures radiocarbon activity.
When they die, they stop exchanging carbon with the biosphere and their carbon 14 content then starts to decrease at a rate determined by the law of radioactive decay.
After all, this what the archeologist guessed in their published books.
Some believe trees are known to be as old as 9,000 years. A lot of people doubt this claim for various good reasons I wont go into here.
What did surprise me was the huge number of Web sites and books vigorously attacking the legitimacy of what I had thought was a fairly straightforward, uncontroversial test.
Apparently carbon dating is right up there with evolution in terms of the disdain it evokes from certain religious groups.