How does radio-carbon dating work? How accurate is it?



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    Radiocarbon dating using the radioisotope carbon-14 to determine the age of very old organic, carbon-containing organisms. When an organism such as a plant or animal dies, the carbon-14 begins to decay at an exponential rate. By measuring the remaining carbon-14 to what is to be expected, the approximate age can be determined.

    There are some inaccuracies with radio-carbon dating, and some believe it is up to 50% inaccurate. There are assumptions that go into radio-carbon dating that may not be entirely true, such that the rate at which carbon-14 decomposes and is created is constant, and that the amount of carbon-14 in the atmosphere has remained constant over the years.

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