The kinetics of radioactive decay and radiometric dating
When they die, they stop exchanging carbon with the biosphere and their carbon 14 content then starts to decrease at a rate determined by the law of radioactive decay.Radiometric dating or radioactive dating is a technique used to date materials such as rocks or carbon, in which trace radioactive impurities were selectively incorporated when they were formed.
Among the best-known techniques are radiocarbon dating, potassium-argon dating and uranium-lead dating.
Over the years, carbon 14 dating has also found applications in geology, hydrology, geophysics, atmospheric science, oceanography, paleoclimatology, and even biomedicine.
American physical chemist Willard Libby led a team of scientists in the post World War II era to develop a method that measures radiocarbon activity.
Carbon-14 dating can be used on objects ranging from a few hundred years old to 50,000 years old.
Libby and others (University of Chicago) devised a method of estimating the age of organic material based on the decay rate of carbon-14.