Carbon 14 dating calculations
Carbon consists of 99% carbon-12, 1% carbon-13, and about one part per million carbon-14.
Results of carbon-14 dating are reported in radiocarbon years, and calibration is needed to convert radiocarbon years into calendar years.
Once an organism dies, it stops taking in carbon-14.
BP stands for “Before Present” or “Before Physics” as some would refer to it.It should be noted that a BP notation is also used in other dating techniques but is defined differently, as in the case of thermoluminescence dating wherein BP is defined as AD 1980.It is also worth noting that the half-life used in carbon dating calculations is 5568 years, the value worked out by chemist Willard Libby, and not the more accurate value of 5730 years, which is known as the Cambridge half-life.In principle, the age of a certain carbonaceous sample can be easily determined by comparing its radiocarbon content to that of a tree ring with a known calendar age.If a sample has the same proportion of radiocarbon as that of the tree ring, it is safe to conclude that they are of the same age.
The most popular and often used method for calibration is by dendrochronology.