A form of radiometric dating used to determine the age of organic remains in ancient objects, such as archaeological specimens, on the basis of the half-life of carbon-14 and a comparison between the ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-14 in a sample of the remains to the known ratio in living organisms. A technique for measuring the age of organic remains based on the rate of decay of carbon 14.
The carbon 14 present in an organism at the time of its death decays at a steady rate, and so the age of the remains can be calculated from the amount of carbon 14 that is left. The cells of all living things contain carbon atoms that they take in from their environment.
As the Earth's upper atmosphere is bombarded by cosmic radiation, atmospheric nitrogen is broken down into an unstable isotope of carbon - carbon 14 (C-14).
The unstable isotope is brought to Earth by atmospheric activity, such as storms, and becomes fixed in the biosphere.
The lab is based in Miami, Florida, and is the world leader in carbon-14 analyses since 1979.Aside from radiocarbon dating, ISO/IEC 17005-accredited Beta Analytic also provides biobased/renewable carbon content testing to manufacturers, product distributors, and researchers worldwide for biobased products, biofuels, waste-derived fuels and their combustion emissions (CO2 gas).The lab also uses Carbon-14 analysis for natural product source testing on materials such as flavors, fragrances, essential oils, cosmetics and supplements to identify petrochemicals.Because it reacts identically to C-12 and C-13, C-14 becomes attached to complex organic molecules through photosynthesis in plants and becomes part of their molecular makeup.Animals eating those plants in turn absorb Carbon-14 as well as the stable isotopes.