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The C-14 Method or Radiocarbon Method is the oldest physical method, which allows to determine the age of an object, if it contains carbon.
The method is named after its principle, it is based on the natural radioactive decay of the carbon isotope C14.
It's accuracy has been verified by using C-14 to date artifacts whose age is known historically.
The fluctuation of the amount of C-14 in the atmosphere over time adds a small uncertainty, but contamination by "modern carbon" such as decayed organic matter from soils poses a greater possibility for error. Thomas Seiler, a physicist from Germany, gave the presentation in Singapore.
Carbon is naturally in all living organisms and is replenished in the tissues by eating other organisms or by breathing air that contains carbon.
The half-life of a radioactive isotope describes the amount of time that it takes half of the isotope in a sample to decay.He said that his team and the laboratories they employed took special care to avoid contamination.That included protecting the samples, avoiding cracked areas in the bones, and meticulous pre-cleaning of the samples with chemicals to remove possible contaminants.A 1 gram sample of carbon from living material shows an activity of about 14 disintegrations per minute. If an excavated sample of plant or animal origin from an archaeological site had a measured activity of 7 disintegrations per minute (dpm), the age of the sample could be fixed at about 5,730 years ± 40 years.At 3.5 dpm, the age would be about 11,640 years and so on.
It was developed in the 1950s by a team of scientists under Professor Willard F. Libby received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his method to use Carbon-14 for age determinations in archaeology, geology, geophysics, and other branches of science." in 1960.