For organic materials, the comparison is between the current ratio of a radioactive isotope to a stable isotope of the same element and the known ratio of the two isotopes in living organisms.
Radiocarbon dating is one such type of radiometric dating.
By measuring the amount of carbon-14 left in the organism, it's possible to work out how old it is.
This technique works well for materials up to around 50,000 years old.
This procedure of radiocarbon dating has been widely adopted and is considered accurate enough for practical use to study remains up to 50,000 years old.
Ever wondered how scientists know the age of old bones in an ancient site or how old a scrap of linen is?
Libby was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work in 1960.
The method was developed by Willard Libby in the late 1940s and soon became a standard tool for archaeologists.
Libby received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in 1960.
A form of radiometric dating used to determine the age of organic remains in ancient objects, such as archaeological specimens, on the basis of the half-life of carbon-14 and a comparison between the ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-14 in a sample of the remains to the known ratio in living organisms.
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. 1979, 1986 © Harper Collins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 Cite This Source (rā'dē-ō-mět'rĭk) A method for determining the age of an object based on the concentration of a particular radioactive isotope contained within it.
The carbon-14 it contained at the time of death decays over a long period of time, and the radioactivity of the material decreases.