The Carbon 14 (C-14) dating method is a radiometric dating method. A radiometric dating uses the known rate of decay of radioactive isotopes to date an object. Each radioactive isotope has a known, fixed rate of decay, which we call a half-life. Once C-14 is produced, it starts to decay back to nitrogen.
How Carbon 14 dating can be used to determine the age of fossils?
How is carbon-14 used to date fossils? All living things absorb carbon from the atmosphere, including an amount of radioactive carbon-14. When that plant or animal dies, it stops absorbing carbon. Scientists can measuring the amount of carbon-14 left over and estimate how long ago the plant or animal died.
Why do we use carbon-14 to date fossils?
Over time, carbon-14 decays in predictable ways. And with the help of radiocarbon dating, researchers can use that decay as a kind of clock that allows them to peer into the past and determine absolute dates for everything from wood to food, pollen, poop, and even dead animals and humans.