Radiocarbon dating error factor

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I'm confident that we can improve the accuracy of carbon dating somewhat, but only if we acknowledge and carefully study the various factors which may play a role in how reliable our foundational assumptions are.

» NOSAMS General Statement of C from contamination introduced during chemical preparation, collection or handling.

date of organic material - but an approximate age, usually within a range of a few years either way.

The other method is “Relative Dating” which gives an order of events without giving an exact age (1): typically artefact typology or the study of the sequence of the evolution of fossils.

Although one can simply measure older samples for longer times, there are practical limits to the minimum sample activity that can be measured.

At the present time, for a 1 milligram sample of graphite, this limiting age is about ten half-lives, or 60,000 years, if set only by the sample size.

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