# What is the carbon-14 dating equation?

Feb 29, 2016

$\left(\frac{5730}{-} 0.693\right) \ln \left({N}_{t} / {N}_{0}\right)$

#### Explanation:

General formula for time $t$ used in Carbon-14 dating is $\left(\frac{5730}{-} 0.693\right) \ln \left({N}_{t} / {N}_{0}\right)$.

If a fossil has say 25% of carbon-14 as compared to living sample than it is 11460 years old (as it has one-fourth carbon it is 5730*2=11460 years old).

As in the above example $\left({N}_{t} / {N}_{0} = 0.25\right)$ and $\ln 0.25 = - 1.386$

$t = \left(\frac{5730}{-} 0.693\right) \cdot \left(- 1.386\right) = 5730 \cdot 2 = 11460$ years.