The decay of Carbon 14 is very long over 5, year half life and normal carbon 12 is very stable and does not decay. You can calculate how long ago a body died by calculating the ratio of carbon in the carbon content. Yes, other atoms have radioactive half-lives -- but they are not organic chemicals -- that is, they are not normally present in living things, so if they ARE there, it's an ABNORMAL, not something you can depend on to be there in order to measure it. Carbon exists in every living thing. It's an organic element, present in both living things and many non-living things hint, even graphite is carbon!! Hence it is everywhere and a certain percentage is always 14C.
Radiocarbon Dating Principles
How Do Scientists Determine the Age of Dinosaur Bones? | HowStuffWorks
Archaeologists use many different techniques to determine the age of a particular artifact, site, or part of a site. Two broad categories of dating or chronometric techniques that archaeologists use are called relative and absolute dating. Stratigraphy is the oldest of the relative dating methods that archaeologists use to date things. Stratigraphy is based on the law of superposition--like a layer cake, the lowest layers must have been formed first.
British Broadcasting Corporation Home. Radio carbon dating determines the age of ancient objects by means of measuring the amount of carbon there is left in an object. In , he won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
Radiometric dating , radioactive dating or radioisotope dating is a technique which is used to date materials such as rocks or carbon , in which trace radioactive impurities were selectively incorporated when they were formed. The method compares the abundance of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope within the material to the abundance of its decay products, which form at a known constant rate of decay. Together with stratigraphic principles , radiometric dating methods are used in geochronology to establish the geologic time scale. By allowing the establishment of geological timescales, it provides a significant source of information about the ages of fossils and the deduced rates of evolutionary change. Radiometric dating is also used to date archaeological materials, including ancient artifacts.