How is carbon 14 dating different than other isotopes used for dating?
Because the half-life of carbon-14 is 5,700 years, it is only reliable for dating objects up to about 60,000 years old. However, the principle of carbon-14 dating applies to other isotopes as well. Potassium-40 is another radioactive element naturally found in your body and has a half-life of 1.3 billion years.
What is unique about c14 dating?
Radiocarbon dating uses carbon isotopes. Most carbon on Earth exists as the very stable isotope carbon-12, with a very small amount as carbon-13. Carbon-14 is an unstable isotope of carbon that will eventually decay at a known rate to become carbon-12. Carbon-14 is considered a radioactive isotope of carbon.
How is carbon dating different from relative dating?
Radiocarbon dating measures radioactive isotopes in once-living organic material instead of relative, using the decay of carbon radioactive nitrogen. Because of the fairly fast and rate of carbon, it can only be dating on material relative relative about 60, years old.