The determination of the approximate age of an ancient object, such as an archaeological specimen, by measuring the amount of carbon 14 it contains. Also called carbon dating, carbon-14 dating.
A technique for determining the age of organic materials, such as wood, based on their content of the radioisotope 14C acquired from the atmosphere when they formed part of a living plant. The 14C decays to the nitrogen isotope 14N with a half-life of 5730 years. Measurement of the amount of radioactive carbon remaining in the material thus gives an estimate of its age
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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