How to do carbon dating equations
Obviously, the limit of the method differs between laboratories dependent upon the extent to which background levels of radioactivity can be reduced.Amongst accelerator laboratories there has been mooted the theoretical possibility of extended range dating to 75 000 yr , at present this seems difficult to attain because of the problems in accurately differentiating between ions that mimic the mass and charge characteristics of the C14 atom.Thus, %Modern becomes a useful term in describing radiocarbon measurements for the past 45 years when, due to the influx of artificial radiocarbon into the atmosphere as a result of nuclear bomb testing the 'age' calculation becomes a 'future' calculation.If the sample approaches D14C = -1000 per mille within 2 standard deviations, it is considered to be indistinguishable from the laboratory background, ie, not able to be separated with confidence from the laboratory countrates which result from a sample which contains no radionuclide. An example of a minimum age is 50, 000 yr (Gupta and Polach, 1985).A time-independent level of C14 activity for the past is assumed in the measurement of a CRA.The activity of this hypothetical level of C14 activity is equal to the activity of the absolute international radiocarbon standard.By measuring the activity of a background sample, the normal radioactivity present while a sample of unknown age is being measured can be accounted for and deducted.
'Normalized' means that the activity is scaled in relation to fractionation of the sample, or its delta C13 value.
Ninety-five percent of the activity of Oxalic Acid from the year 1950 is equal to the measured activity of the absolute radiocarbon standard which is 1890 wood.
This is the International Radiocarbon Dating Standard.
It is vital for a radiocarbon laboratory to know the contribution to routine sample activity of non-sample radioactivity.
Obviously, this activity is additional and must be removed from calculations.