The determination of the approximate age of an ancient object, such as an archaeological specimen, by measuring the amount of carbon 14 it contains. a chemical analysis used to determine the age of organic materials based on their content of the radioisotope carbon-14; believed to be reliable up to 40,000 years Familiarity information: CARBON DATING used as a noun is very rare.
Once an organism is dead, however, no new carbon is actively absorbed by its tissues, and its carbon 14 gradually decays.
Libby thus reasoned that by measuring carbon 14 levels in the remains of an organism that died long ago, one could estimate the time of its death.
This procedure of radiocarbon dating has been widely adopted and is considered accurate enough for practical use to study remains up to 50,000 years old.
uncalibrated, radiocarbon ages are usually reported in radiocarbon years "Before Present" (BP), "Present" being defined as AD 1950.
When plants fix atmospheric carbon dioxide (COC that approximately matches the level of this isotope in the atmosphere (a small difference occurs because of isotope fractionation, but this is corrected after laboratory analysis).