By measuring the amount of carbon-14 remaining, scientists can pinpoint the exact date of the organism's death.
The range of conventional radiocarbon dating is 30,000 to 40,000 years.
By measuring the amount of original and transformed atoms in an object, scientists can determine the age of that object.
Narrow rings grow in cold or dry years, and wide rings grow in warm or wet years.
The rings form a distinctive pattern, which is the same for all members in a given species and geographical area.
Eventually, the entire ecosystem (community of plants and animals) of the planet, including humans, is filled with a concentration of carbon-14.
As long as an organism is alive, the supply of carbon-14 is replenished.
If a certain kind of pollen is found in an archaeological site, scientists can check when the plant that produced that pollen lived to determine the relative age of the site.
Absolute dating methods are carried out in a laboratory.The age of the remains of plants, animals, and other organic material can be determined by measuring the amount of carbon-14 contained in that material.Carbon-14, a radioactive form of the element carbon, is created in the atmosphere by cosmic rays (invisible, high-energy particles that constantly bombard Earth from all directions in space).Absolute dates must agree with dates from other relative methods in order to be valid.The most widely used and accepted form of absolute dating is radioactive decay dating. Radioactive decay refers to the process in which a radioactive form of an element is converted into a nonradioactive product at a regular rate.The nucleus of every radioactive element (such as radium and uranium) spontaneously disintegrates over time, transforming itself into the nucleus of an atom of a different element.