They can also apply the new methods of studying old objects to things that have been dug up for many years.For example, the famous sarcophagus (see pic) of the child Pharaoh Tutankhamen at the British Museum was discovered in November 1922 yet it is still studied by historians right up to today and new things are learned about Tutankhamen himself and Egyptian life as a result.Radiocarbon dating was invented in the 1950s by the American chemist Willard F.
Throughout the life of an animal or plant, the amount of C14 is perfectly balanced with that of its surroundings. The C14 in a dead organism slowly decays at a known rate: its "half life".The thing to remember about half-life is that it is a probability.In the example above, 500 atoms are "expected" to decay. It is just what will happen on average over the course of billions and billions of atoms.Each original isotope, called the parent, gradually decays to form a new isotope, called the daughter.Each isotope is identified with what is called a ‘mass number’.Stable and Unstable Isotopes Elements can be made up of different isotopes. Different Types of Radioactivity How is it measured?