Radiocarbon dating (also referred to as carbon dating or carbon-14 dating) is a method for determining the age of an object containing organic material by using the properties of radiocarbon, a radioactive isotope of carbon.

## How radiocarbon dating can be used to determine the age of organic material?

Background: Radiocarbon dating of materials is a radiometric dating technique that uses the decay of carbon-14 (14C) to estimate the age of organic materials, such as paper and parchment. These include the main stable isotope (12C) and an unstable isotope (14C).

## Why is carbon 14 dating especially useful in estimating the age of organic remains?

Because carbon-14 decays at this constant rate, an estimate of the date at which an organism died can be made by measuring the amount of its residual radiocarbon.