By looking at the ratio of carbon to carbon in the sample and comparing it to the ratio in a living organism, it is possible to determine the age of a formerly living thing fairly precisely. So, the fossil is 8, years old, meaning the living organism died 8, years ago. The Dating Game U.
When finding the age of an organic organism we need to consider the half-life of carbon 14 as well as the rate of decay, which is —0. Carbon 14 Dating Archaeologists use the exponential, radioactive decay of carbon 14 to estimate the death dates of organic material. Similarly, years after an organism dies, only one quarter of its original carbon atoms are still around. Carbon is naturally in all living organisms and is replenished in the tissues by eating other organisms or by breathing air that contains carbon. By examining the object's relation to layers of deposits in the area, and by comparing the object to others found at the site, archaeologists can estimate when the object arrived at the site.