5 uses of carbon dating
After incorporating radioactive atoms into reactant molecules, scientists can track where the atoms go by following their radioactivity.
The continuous analysis and rapid response of nuclear techniques, many involving radioisotopes, mean that reliable flow and analytic data can be constantly available.It also has some applications in geology; its importance in dating organic materials cannot be underestimated enough.In 1979, Desmond Clark said of the method “we would still be foundering in a sea of imprecisions sometime bred of inspired guesswork but more often of imaginative speculation” (3).NIS reactions are particularly useful for elements such as C, O, Al & Si which have a low neutron capture cross section.Such equipment is used for a variety on on-line and on-belt analysis in the cement, mineral and coal industries.We know these steps because researchers followed the progress of the radioactive carbon-14 throughout the process.
Radioactive isotopes are useful for establishing the ages of various objects.
The other two isotopes in comparison are more common than carbon-14 in the atmosphere but increase with the burning of fossil fuels making them less reliable for study (2); carbon-14 also increases, but its relative rarity means its increase is negligible. After this point, other Absolute Dating methods may be used.
Today, the radiocarbon-14 dating method is used extensively in environmental sciences and in human sciences such as archaeology and anthropology.
Most commercial analysers use californium-252 neutron sources together with sodium iodide detectors and are mainly sensitive to TNC reactions.
Other use Am-Be-241 sources and bismuth germanate detectors, which register both TNC and NIS.
Radioactive isotopes have a variety of applications.