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During the period of a plant's life, the plant is taking in carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, which is how the plant makes energy and grows.Animals eat plants, and some eat other animals in the food chain.The C14 method has been and continues to be applied and used in many, many different fields including hydrology, atmospheric science, oceanography, geology, palaeoclimatology, archaeology and biomedicine.All plants and animals on Earth are made principally of carbon.Eventually, a particle is emitted from the carbon 14 atom, and carbon 14 disappears.Most of the carbon on Earth exists in a slightly different atomic form, although it is chemically speaking, identical to all carbon.The radiocarbon method was developed by a team of scientists led by the late Professor Willard F.Libby of the University of Chicago after the end of World War 2.

The person who wrote these words lived in the 1800s, many years before archaeologists could accurately date materials from archaeological sites using scientific methods.The relative dating method worked very well, but only in sites which were had a connection to the relative scale. When radiocarbon dating was developed, it revolutionised archaeology, because it enabled them to more confidently date the past, and to build a more accurate picture of the human past.The archaeologist Colin Renfrew (1973) called it the development of this dating method 'the radiocarbon revolution' in describing its great impact upon the human sciences.You can work out that after about 50 000 years of time, all the radiocarbon will have gone.Therefore, radiocarbon dating is not able to date anything older than 60 or 70 000 years old.

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