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Archaeologists use the exponential, radioactive decay of carbon 14 to estimate the death dates of organic material.

The stable form of carbon is carbon 12 and the radioactive isotope carbon 14 decays over time into nitrogen 14 and other particles.

Radiocarbon dating can be used on samples of bone, cloth, wood and plant fibers.

The half-life of a radioactive isotope describes the amount of time that it takes half of the isotope in a sample to decay.

Once the radiocarbon atom is produced, it rapidly combines with oxygen (OC (7 neutrons) atoms.

After 5,730 years, the amount of carbon 14 left in the body is half of the original amount.

If the amount of carbon 14 is halved every 5,730 years, it will not take very long to reach an amount that is too small to analyze.

The best estimate from this dating technique says the man lived between 33 BC. From the ratio, the time since the formation of the rock can be calculated.

The boat of a pharaoh was discovered in a sealed crypt and reassembled in a museum near the pyramids (see Fig. The age of our galaxy and earth also can be estimated using radioactive dating.

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