Radiocarbon dating error factor
The use of carbon-14, also known as radiocarbon, to date organic materials has been an important method in both archaeology and geology.The technique was pioneered over fifty years ago by the physical chemist Willard Libby, who won the 1960 Nobel Prize for his work on C.Since then, the technique has been widely used and continually improved.This paper will focus on how the radiocarbon dating method works, how it is used by scientists, and how creationists have interpreted the results.
Samples significantly older than this have very little or even no measurable C left.
In order to function properly, natural clocks need an irreversible process that occurs at a constant and known rate.
Nuclear decay has a constant rate of decay, but as it turns out, the formation of C has been reliably calibrated to tens of thousands of years.
The newest limit using cross-checking methods is around 26,000 years (Dotinga 2005).
Without this calibration, atmospheric fluctuations in C cause some radiocarbon dates to have an error up to 10%.