Researcher uses carbon dating

As you learned in the previous page, carbon dating uses the half-life of Carbon-14 to find the approximate age of certain objects that are 40,000 years old or younger.

In the following section we are going to go more in-depth about carbon dating in order to help you get a better understanding of how it works.

Age determinations can also be obtained from carbonate deposits such as calcite, dissolved carbon dioxide, and carbonates in ocean, lake, and groundwater sources.

Cosmic rays enter the earth's atmosphere in large numbers every day and when one collides with an atom in the atmosphere, it can create a secondary cosmic ray in the form of an energetic neutron.

But once you do get one in your hands you realise it looks like nothing else," said Tom Espinoza, project officer for the Department of Natural Resources and Mines."From when they were first found in 1870 here in the Burnett [River] ever since back then researchers that were working on the species could never find baby ones."We can find the eggs, we can hatch the eggs, but from there until they're about three centimetres long you just do not see them anywhere.

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The method has been revolutionary and remains one of the most commonly used dating methods to study the past, but according to Charlotte Pearson, it’s ready for a makeover.

In its most conventional form, dendrochronology works like so.

A contemporary tree—that is, a tree that was either just cut down or still living—can tell you not just how many years it has lived, but which years in which it lived. What if it’s been used to build a home or a ship or a bonfire?

Pearson is an assistant professor of dendrochronology at the University of Arizona who studies the past lives of trees to better understand the history of civilizations.

Dendrochronology and radiocarbon dating have intertwined histories, she explains, with roots firmly planted at the UA.

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