When a living thing dies, it stops interacting with the biosphere, and the carbon 14 in it remains unaffected by the biosphere but will naturally undergo decay.Decay of carbon 14 takes thousands of years, and it is this wonder of nature that forms the basis of radiocarbon dating and made this carbon 14 analysis a powerful tool in revealing the past.Geologist Ralph Harvey and historian Mott Greene explain the principles of radiometric dating and its application in determining the age of Earth.
Measuring the uranium-to-lead ratios in the oldest rocks on Earth gave scientists an estimated age of the planet of 4.6 billion years.Segment from A Science Odyssey: "Origins."Geologists have calculated the age of Earth at 4.6 billion years.Before then, the Bible had provided the only estimate for the age of the world: about 6,000 years, with Genesis as the history book.Hutton's theories were short on evidence at first, but by 1830 most scientists concurred that Noah's ark was more allegory than reality as they documented geological layering.Over the years, archaeology has uncovered information about past cultures that would have been left unknown had it not been with the help of such technologies as radiocarbon dating, dendrochronology, archaeomagnetic dating, fluoride dating, luminescence dating, and obsidian hydration analysis, among others.
Radiocarbon dating has been around for more than 50 years and has revolutionized archaeology.
There is a greater part of man’s unwritten past that archaeology has managed to unravel.
Studying the material remains of past human life and activities may not seem important or exciting to the average Joe unlike the biological sciences.
Archaeologists, on the other hand, provide proof of authenticity of a certain artifact or debunk historical or anthropological findings.
Archaeology has undoubtedly enriched mankind’s history like no other science.
Certain isotopes are unstable and undergo a process of radioactive decay, slowly and steadily transforming, molecule by molecule, into a different isotope.