Carbon 14 dating equation
The carbon-14 isotope would vanish from Earth's atmosphere in less than a million years were it not for the constant influx of cosmic rays interacting with molecules of nitrogen (NFigure 1: Diagram of the formation of carbon-14 (forward), the decay of carbon-14 (reverse).Carbon-14 is constantly be generated in the atmosphere and cycled through the carbon and nitrogen cycles.Before Radiocarbon dating was able to be discovered, someone had to find the existence of the C isotope.In 1940 Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben at the University of California, Berkeley Radiation Laboratory did just that.Using this hypothesis, the initial half-life he determined was 5568 give or take 30 years.The accuracy of this proposal was proven by dating a piece of wood from an Ancient Egyptian barge, of whose age was already known.
He demonstrated the accuracy of radiocarbon dating by accurately estimating the age of wood from a series of samples for which the age was known, including an ancient Egyptian royal barge dating from 1850 BCE.
They found a form, isotope, of Carbon that contained 8 neutrons and 6 protons.
Using this finding Willard Libby and his team at the University of Chicago proposed that Carbon-14 was unstable and underwent a total of 14 disintegrations per minute per gram.
The carbon-14 atoms undergo beta-minus decay (electron emission) and produce a beta particle and a nitrogen-14 atom.
A neutron in the atom undergoes decay and will produce a proton, electron (the beta particle ) and an electron antineutrino. From this science, we are able to approximate the date at which the organism were living on Earth.