Cambridge carbon dating
We wanted to use science to test the accepted historical dates of several Old Kingdom monuments.One radioactive, or unstable, carbon isotope is C14, which decays over time and therefore provides scientists with a kind of clock for measuring the age of organic material.
So, every living thing is constantly exchanging carbon-14 with its environment as long as it lives. The carbon in its body will remain until it decomposes or fossilizes.
The numbers of C14 atoms and non-radioactive carbon atoms remain approximately the same over time during the organism’s life.
As soon as a plant or animal dies, the carbon uptake stops.
Libby calculated the half-life of carbon-14 as 5568, a figure now known as the Libby half-life.
Following a conference at the University of Cambridge in 1962, a more accurate figure of 5730 years was agreed upon and this figure is now known as the Cambridge half-life.