Dating at the age of 14

Obviously, this activity is additional and must be removed from calculations.

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D14C is calculated using: Figure 1: Decay curve for C14 showing the activity at one half-life (t/2).

The terms "%Modern", or "pm C" and D14C are shown related in this diagram along with the Radiocarbon age in years BP (Before 1950 AD).

Carbon-14 dating can be used on objects ranging from a few hundred years old to 50,000 years old.

Libby and others (University of Chicago) devised a method of estimating the age of organic material based on the decay rate of carbon-14.

You can get an idea of the relationship between C14 and age at the Carbon Dating calculator page. 1950 was chosen for no particular reason other than to honour the publication of the first radiocarbon dates calculated in December 1949 (Taylor, 19).

Ninety-five percent of the activity of Oxalic Acid from the year 1950 is equal to the measured activity of the absolute radiocarbon standard which is 1890 wood.The ratio of the activity of sucrose with 0.95 Ox was first measured by Polach at 1.50070.0052 (Polach, 1976b:122).Later inter-laboratory measurements put the ratio at 1.5081 (Currie and Polach, 1980).According to Stuiver and Polach (1977), all laboratories should report their results either directly related to NBS Oxalic acid or indirectly using a sub-standard which is related to it.It is vital for a radiocarbon laboratory to know the contribution to routine sample activity of non-sample radioactivity.The Oxalic acid standard which was developed is no longer commercially available. In the early 1980's, a group of 12 laboratories measured the ratios of the two standards.

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