Since 1947, scientists have reckoned the ages of many old objects by measuring the amounts of radioactive carbon they contain.New research shows, however, that some estimates based on carbon may have erred by thousands of years.How am I supposed to figure out what the decay constant is?
I do not have the decay constant but, by using the half-life information, I can find it.(Since this is a decay problem, I expect the constant to be negative.If I end up with a positive value, I'll know that I should go back and check my work.) In Its radiation is extremely low-energy, so the chance of mutation is very low.(Whatever you're being treated for is the greater danger.) The half-life is just long enough for the doctors to have time to take their pictures. The method was developed by Willard Libby in the late 1940s and soon became a standard tool for archaeologists.
Libby received the Nobel Prize for his work in 1960.What solutions are available for increasing accuracy of the tests? From the source linked above: Carbon-14 is considered to be a highly reliable dating technique.It's accuracy has been verified by using C-14 to date artifacts whose age is known historically.Indeed, by doing almost 20 seconds of research on google (type in “variations in C14”, click on Google Scholar) the second link is this article from 1954: Carbon 13 in plants and the relationships between carbon 13 and carbon 14 variations in nature So, this issue has been known about for a long time. Then we compare the two and adjust the radiocarbon date to the known date. That’s less than 1% if you’re interested in that sort of thing. But this is already almost a thousand words and I’ve only done ONE! Long story short, scientists have always known that variations in C-14 concentration happen.Do you honestly think that no one has done anything about it? By making thousands (if not millions) of these adjustments we get a very good idea of how old a piece of unknown material can be. The 2009 calibration set extends the ‘well calibrated range’ to 50,000 years using the varves in a Japanese lake. This is unlike the creationists which think it happened, but can’t be bothered to check.And the result of this accepted method dates dinosaur fossils to around 68 million years old. Its half-life ($t_$) is only 5,730 years—that is, every 5,730 years, half of it decays away.