Half life of carbon 14 dating

14-Feb-2020 00:32

A sample of acacia wood from the tomb of the pharoah Zoser (or Djoser; 3rd Dynasty, ca. Libby reasoned that since the half-life of C years, they should obtain a C14 concentration of about 50% that which was found in living wood (see Libby, 1949 for further details).

The results they obtained indicated this was the case.

By comparing this with modern levels of activity (1890 wood corrected for decay to 1950 AD) and using the measured half-life it becomes possible to calculate a date for the death of the sample.

There is a quantitative relationship between the decay of 14C and the production of a beta particle. That is, the probability of decay for an atom of 14C in a discrete sample is constant, thereby requiring the application of statistical methods for the analysis of counting data.