JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Radiocarbon dating. A scientist taking a sample of shavings from a reindeer's bone for dating using radiocarbon techniques. This uses the ratio between the radioactive isotope carbon-14 (14C) and the stable carbon-12 (12C) isotope in a sample. The ratio of 14C to 12C in the sample may be related to the time since the death of the animal or plant being investigated. Convention states that 14C has a half-life of 5568 years (+/- 30 years), although this is now thought to be too short. Dates from the process are given either as radiocarbon dates, or as solar dates after various corrections have been made.
Model release not required. Property release not required.