Strengths and limitations of radiocarbon dating
Rachel Frost began writing professionally in 2001 and works primarily in internal communications, marketing and corporate publication management. She holds a bachelor's degree in public communications from Buffalo State College and a Masters of Business Administration with a marketing concentration from Canisius College.
Calibration is not only done before an analysis but also on analytical results as in the case of radiocarbon dating—an analytical method that identifies the age of a material that once formed part of the biosphere by determining its carbon-14 content and tracing its age by its radioactive decay.
The rate of decay (or half-life) of C14 was proven linear, allowing scientists to determine the approximate date of the expiration of a life form based on the amount of C14 remaining in the fossil.
This dating can be used on once-living items and can provide information on related spaces.
Anthropologists and archeologists want to have factual dates so that they can understand the spread of cultures across the world.
The discovery of radiocarbon dating, while over 50 years old, still provides new opportunities to scientists on a regular basis.
Calibration of radiocarbon results is needed to account for changes in the atmospheric concentration of carbon-14 over time.