Recent radiocarbon dating dating a woman 12 years older
Carbon-14 is most abundant in atmospheric carbon dioxide because it is constantly being produced by collisions between nitrogen atoms and cosmic rays at the upper limits of the atmosphere.
This tool has become quite widely used and accepted in recent years and is important to our study since it professes to supply absolute dates for events within the past 30 or 40 thousand years. The formation of radiocarbon (that is, Carbon 14, the radioactive isotope of ordinary carbon) from cosmic radiation was first discovered, however, by Serge Korff, an authority on cosmic rays.
The first dated materials included wood from Egyptian tombs, linen wrapping from one of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and heartwood from a California sequoia.
Radiocarbon dating is useful for dating organic materials as old as 45,000 to 50,000 years, after which little C atoms in a sample decay.
Sample sizes of one gram or greater are required for conventional dates.