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The unreliability of carbon 14 date testing is a great concern to honest archaeologists.They get particularly concerned when C14 testing shows obviously inaccurate results and they are left in uncertainty about the reliability of the dates that they have previously never questioned.My favourite quote of all time from max planck theoretical physicist, “Science progresses funeral by funeral.” How true that is.
The stable C12 and C13, and the unstable or radioactive Carbon 14. Only one C14 atom exists for every one trillion C12 atoms.
Nitrogen atoms in the upper atmosphere are struck by cosmic radiation and create C14 atoms.
For radiocarbon dating to be reliable scientists need to make a number of vital assumptions.
Firstly, Dr Libby assumed that C14 decays at a constant rate.
As with any radioactive particle it decays over time. Libby in 1948 at the University of Chicago, showed that C14, tested in his laboratory, decayed at the rate that, projected out, would cause half of its weight to be lost in 5568 years.
Hence, the term ‘half-life’ was given to radioactive substances.
These anomalies have driven archaeologists to question their earlier conclusions about archaeological sites and their respective civilizations founded on artefact dating.
Many theories about societies and their cultures have been based solely on C14 dating results.
The radiocarbon method measures the rate of decay in the C14 of organic matter therefore estimating how long ago death occurred.
Archaeologists can use this method to date bone, teeth, plants, seeds, burned food remains, coprolites, wood, and any artefact that contains organic materials such as an iron axe head (iron cannot be tested using C14) with a wooden handle or a bronze spear with a wooden shaft.
However, experimental evidence indicates that C14 decay is slowing down and that millennia ago it decayed much faster than is observed today.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating