Carbon dating explained for kids

24-Nov-2016 15:10

It is often used on valuable artwork to confirm authenticity.

For example, look at this image of the opening of King Tutankhamen's tomb near Luxor, Egypt during the 1920s.

As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 55,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.

Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.

Radiocarbon dating has been used extensively since its discovery.

Examples of use include analyzing charcoal from prehistoric caves, ancient linen and wood, and mummified remains.

This technique works well for materials up to around 50,000 years old.

carbon dating explained for kids-67carbon dating explained for kids-87carbon dating explained for kids-75

Because of the carbon cycle, there is always carbon-14 present in both the air and in living organisms.

You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree.

Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

The half-life is always the same regardless of how many nuclei you have left, and this very useful property lies at the heart of radiocarbon dating. The graph below shows the decay curve (you may recognize it as an exponential decay) and it shows the amount, or percent, of carbon-14 remaining.

You will notice that after around 40,000 years (or 8 half-lives), the amount left is starting to become very small, less than 1%.

Because of the carbon cycle, there is always carbon-14 present in both the air and in living organisms.You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree.Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.The half-life is always the same regardless of how many nuclei you have left, and this very useful property lies at the heart of radiocarbon dating. The graph below shows the decay curve (you may recognize it as an exponential decay) and it shows the amount, or percent, of carbon-14 remaining.You will notice that after around 40,000 years (or 8 half-lives), the amount left is starting to become very small, less than 1%.However, once the organism dies, the amount of carbon-14 steadily decreases.