Is the half life of carbon 14 5730 years?

1 Answer
Feb 10, 2016

Answer:

The figure #5730# years seems to be the middle estimate for the half life of #""^14"C"#, with uncertainty #+-40# years.

Explanation:

These figures are from the Wikipedia entry on Carbon-14.

The value has been calculated by correlating #""^14"C"# / #""^12"C"# ratios with other indicators of age such as comparing tree-ring dates of trees whose lifetimes overlapped.

Trees such as Bristlecone pines can live to ages in excess of #6000# years, so a couple of Bristlecone pines with overlapping lifetimes, but dying a few thousand years apart could in theory provide some very useful data for such calibration.