Best suited to the carbon 14 dating technique

50,000 years into the past, but I'm interested in the other end of the time range: is there a point in time when younger (recent) specimens can no longer be dated with accepted accuracy?

I have read sources that place this limit anywhere between 50 and 500 years.

Each isotope is identified with what is called a ‘mass number’.

When ‘parent’ uranium-238 decays, for example, it produces subatomic particles, energy and ‘daughter’ lead-206.

I also am aware of new carbon contamination when sampling.

I am a paintings conservator and have been requested to examine a panel painting from approximately 1550 A.

Isotopes are important to geologists because each radioactive element decays at a constant rate, which is unique to that element.

Nuclear Physics is the study of the properties and behaviour of nuclei and particles, ranging from tiny quarks to giant explosions deep in space.

Geologists often need to know the age of material that they find.

These break down over time in a process scientists call radioactive decay.

Each original isotope, called the parent, gradually decays to form a new isotope, called the daughter.

The information on this site is interesting and easy to understand, with helpful visual aids and explanations at every step of the way.

Plus, the site is extremely easy to use, to encourage pupils to explore the information here on their own.

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