How does carbon 14 dating work

Generally, contamination is removed by chemical cleaning prior to dating.

There are some assumptions underlying this process, and some limits to accuracy.Second (and more serious) hurdle: calculating the radioactive decay based on a fixed half-life assumes that the amount of C-14 in the atmosphere has been reasonably constant, and that the rate of absorption by plants and animals has also been reasonably constant.This is not so; in some periods organisms have absorbed more or less C-14 than in others.Usually, radiocarbon dates are expressed with a plus or minus margin of error.If someone tells you something has been carbon-dated to a specific point, without giving you a margin of error, you should be suspicious.

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