The half-life is the time taken for an amount of a radioactive isotope to decay to half its original value.
Because this decay is constant it can be used as a “clock” to measure elapsed time assuming the starting amount is known.
Hereafter these isotopes will be referred to as 12C, 13C, and 14C.
14C is radioactive and has a half-life of 5730 years.
The tables below present information on dated samples from New Zealand (South Pacific) and Trinidad (Southern Caribbean).
The radiocarbon ages indicated here are not directly equivalent to calender years.
Libby, a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Chicago, predicted that a radioactive isotope of carbon, known as carbon-14, would be found to occur in nature.The Greeks consider the first Olympic Games as the beginning or 776 BC.The Muslims count the Prophet’s departure from Mecca, or the Hegira, as their beginning at AD 662.Transform the radiocarbon ages into calendar dates using the calibration program CALIB (you can see this and other programs at: New Zealand The laboratory number is a unique identifier given to each radiocarbon sample.