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.