Nz dating events
"Everything which has come down to us from heathendom is wrapped in a thick fog; it belongs to a space of time we cannot measure.
As soon as a plant or animal dies, they cease the metabolic function of carbon uptake; there is no replenishment of radioactive carbon, only decay.
The half-life () is the name given to this value which Libby measured at 556830 years. After 10 half-lives, there is a very small amount of radioactive carbon present in a sample.
At about 50 - 60 000 years, then, the limit of the technique is reached (beyond this time, other radiometric techniques must be used for dating).
Libby and his team intially tested the radiocarbon method on samples from prehistoric Egypt.
They chose samples whose age could be independently determined.