Radiocarbon dating equation
Libby invented carbon dating for which he received the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1960.
The halflife of carbon 14 is 5730 ± 30 years, and the method of dating lies in trying to determine how much carbon 14 (the radioactive isotope of carbon) is present in the artifact and comparing it to levels currently present in the atmosphere.
Ages are calculated using 5568 years as the half-life of radiocarbon and are reported without reservoir corrections or calibration to calendar years.
For freeware programs, we suggest that you look at the following web site for a list of programs that will calibrate radiocarbon results to calendar years (including making reservoir corrections).[ Radiocarbon-Related Information Sources] The error in the age is given by 8033 times the relative error in the Fm .
Organic materials, which require the most processing, are limited to younger ages by their corresponding process blank.
The final reported error is the larger of the internal or external errors.Using this measurement also corrects for any mass-dependent fractionation within the AMS system.The Fraction Modern corrected for δC of a sample 10 separate times over the course of a run.Our measurements of secondary standards show that the deviation within a population of samples is generally 1-3 permil greater than the reported error for a single sample.Radiocarbon age is calculated from Reporting of ages and/or activities follows the convention outlined by Stuiver and Polach (1977) and Stuiver (1980).
One other situation that limits the age (if not already limited by the background age) is the error of the AMS result.