Radiocarbon 14 dating wikipedia
Carbon dating produces the most reliable results when multiple samples can be tested to ensure accuracy and limit potential interferences. University of New Mexico Press: Albuquerque, NM, 1994. Alternative dating techniques such as dendrochronology may be employed to confirm the results of radiocarbon dating. On this page, you will find descriptions of several of the most popular and useful methods that exist today.
Radiocarbon dating is so well-known because it can be applied to nearly any organism that was living at some time.
However, when the life form dies and is buried or otherwise stops interacting with atmospheric gases there will be no further increase in the amount of radioactive carbon in the system.
Therefore, the amount of radioactive carbon in the system will only decrease and form Nitrogen.
In some cases, an organic sample is indeed being analyzed, but for some reason it has been contaminated by radioactive carbon or is undatable by radiocarbon methods for some other reason.
In this case determining the age of the surrounding earth or rock materials can be very helpful in determining the age of the sample.