For radiocarbon dating to be possible, the material must once have been part of a living organism.

The equation relating rate constant to half-life for first order kinetics is \[ k = \dfrac \label\] so the rate constant is then \[ k = \dfrac = 1.21 \times 10^ \text^ \label\] and Equation \(\ref\) can be rewritten as \[N_t= N_o e^ \label\] or \[t = \left(\dfrac \right) t_ = 8267 \ln \dfrac = 19035 \log_ \dfrac \;\;\; (\text) \label\] The sample is assumed to have originally had the same (rate of decay) of d/min.g (where d = disintegration).

Question: "Is carbon dating a reliable method for determining the age of things?

" Answer: Carbon dating, or radiocarbon dating, like any other laboratory testing technique, can be extremely reliable, so long as all of the variables involved are controlled and understood.

For example, a steel spearhead cannot be carbon dated, so archaeologists might perform testing on the wooden shaft it was attached to.