Furthermore, if a sample has been contaminated, scientists will know about it.
Carbon-dating Carbon dating, like other radiometric dating methods, requires certain assumptions that cannot be scientifically proved.
These include the starting conditions, the constancy of the rate of decay, and that no material has left or entered the sample.
Beyond that timespan, the amount of the original C formed by irradiation of nitrogen by neutrons from the spontaneous fission of uranium, present in trace quantities almost everywhere.
For these samples, other dating methods must be used.
What I want to do in this video is kind of introduce you to the idea of, one, how carbon-14 comes about, and how it gets into all living things. They can also be alpha particles, which is the same thing as a helium nucleus. And they're going to come in, and they're going to bump into things in our atmosphere, and they're actually going to form neutrons. And we'll show a neutron with a lowercase n, and a 1 for its mass number. And what's interesting about this is this is constantly being formed in our atmosphere, not in huge quantities, but in reasonable quantities. Because as soon as you die and you get buried under the ground, there's no way for the carbon-14 to become part of your tissue anymore because you're not eating anything with new carbon-14.
And then either later in this video or in future videos we'll talk about how it's actually used to date things, how we use it actually figure out that that bone is 12,000 years old, or that person died 18,000 years ago, whatever it might be. So let me just draw the surface of the Earth like that. So then you have the Earth's atmosphere right over here. And 78%, the most abundant element in our atmosphere is nitrogen. And we don't write anything, because it has no protons down here. And what's interesting here is once you die, you're not going to get any new carbon-14. You can't just say all the carbon-14's on the left are going to decay and all the carbon-14's on the right aren't going to decay in that 5,730 years. Carbon dating has a certain margin of error, usually depending on the age and material of the sample used.Carbon-14 has a half-life of about 5730 years, and therefore it is used to date biological samples up to about 60,000 years in the past."The radiocarbon dating technique may significantly underestimate the age of sediment for samples older than 30,000 years,” said the authors of the report from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Germany’s Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics.“Thus it is necessary to pay [special] attention when using such old carbon data for palaeoclimatic or archaeological interpretations," they added.The level of atmospheric Radiometric dating in general, of course, poses a huge problem for people who believe that the universe is 6000-odd years old.