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There are exceptions to the theories and relationships introduced below that are beyond the scope of this discussion.Carbon is the basis of life and is present in all living things.There are three forms of carbon that naturally occur forming the building blocks of all plant and animal life.

However when they die the radiocarbon decays and is not replaced.Since it decays at a known constant rate, the decreasing concentration of 14C can be measured and the date when the material died estimated.Radiocarbon dating research has been part of the University of Arizona since 1954.The AMS Laboratory was founded in 1981 by Professors Douglas J. Damon (Geosciences) with support from the National Science Foundation.Since it is radioactive, it gradually fades away by radioactive decay until it is all gone.

Radiocarbon dating uses carbon-14 to determine the last time something (or someone) was alive.In 1946, Willard Libby proposed an innovative method for dating organic materials by measuring their content of carbon-14, a newly discovered radioactive isotope of carbon.Known as radiocarbon dating, this method provides objective age estimates for carbon-based objects that originated from living organisms.Knowing the limitations of this dating method can help avoid colossal archaeological misinterpretations that would otherwise distort history.Radiocarbon or C14 dating employs complex systems of measuring the unstable isotopes in once living matter.This carbon-14 immediately starts to radioactively decay but is constantly being recreated.