The technology involved is fascinating and impressive.
Measurements can be made with a high degree of precision. Aardsma submitted a sample from a reed mat known to be over 5,000 years old.
When the tree dies or the animal becomes old bones, the carbon-14 decays at a predictable rate, and the ratio that remains in the laboratory sample is a measure of the specimen’s age.
1 - Department of Geosciences, 2 - Department of Physics, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA 3 - Research Laboratory for Archaeology and History of Art, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 3QJ, UK 4 - Institut für Mittelenergiephysik, ETH-Hönggerberg, CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland 5 - Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, New York 10964, USA 6 - Research Laboratory, British Museum, London WC1B 3DG, UK Very small samples from the Shroud of Turin have been dated by accelerator mass spectrometry in laboratories at Arizona, Oxford and Zurich.
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.
He said that his team and the laboratories they employed took special care to avoid contamination.
Laboratory address: Poznan Radiocarbon Laboratory ul.
The preferred method of dating dinosaur fossils is with the radiometric dating method.
It's accuracy has been verified by using C-14 to date artifacts whose age is known historically.
If emissions continue under the now-notorious “business as usual” scenario, then by 2050 a brand-new cotton shirt will have the same radiocarbon-dating age as the cloak worn by William the Conqueror when he invaded Britain in 1066.
But if, on the other hand, the world’s governments do move swiftly to curb fossil fuel emissions, then by 2050 a brand-new cotton shirt will seem only 100 years old.
C., for example---the true date lying somewhere in that range.
The precision of a radiocarbon date tells how narrow the range of dates is.