Carbon dating explained for kids

Free 5-day trial Ever wondered how scientists know the age of old bones in an ancient site or how old a scrap of linen is?

The technique used is called carbon dating, and in this lesson we will learn what this is and how it is used. Carbon dating, or radiocarbon dating, is a method used to date materials that once exchanged carbon dioxide with the atmosphere. In the late 1940s, an American physical chemist named Willard Libby first developed a method to measure radioactivity of carbon-14, a radioactive isotope.

So without Carbon-dioxide, plants wouldn't make food, and we would have no direct source of energy for our own survival. So, thanks to Carbon and the compounds that it forms, we are here to understand the Carbon cycle.

Significance of Carbon Carbon is extremely important for the existence of almost all the organic and inorganic things present on the earth.

Explanation of the Carbon Cycle The Carbon cycle implies the exchange of Carbon between the various organic and inorganic elements in the atmosphere and the biosphere.

The elements which release Carbon in the atmosphere are called the sources, while those that absorb Carbon from the atmosphere are called the sinks.

More the Carbon in the atmosphere, more will the heat be trapped and the temperature will rise.

Hence, we need to plant more trees, and avoid deforestation as much as possible, so that there is more sinking of Carbon, and the temperature of our planet doesn't rise further.

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Here are a few reasons why Carbon is so priceless: There are many, many reasons why Carbon is really important.

All living things on Earth are made up of a high percentage of an element called carbon.

Carbon combines with other elements in complex ways to form the molecules that make up our bodies.

Most carbon on Earth is not radioactive, but a very small percentage is.

Thus, as living things take in carbon, they inevitably will take up a small amount of radioactive carbon into their bodies.

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