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article sur le chercheur pour l'histoire de cette découverte).

Le carbone 14 ou radiocarbone est un isotope radioactif du carbone dont la période radioactive (ou demi-vie) est égale à 5734 ± 40 ans selon des calculs relevant de la physique des particules datant de 1961.

The older a sample is, the less (the period of time after which half of a given sample will have decayed) is about 5,730 years, the oldest dates that can be reliably measured by this process date to around 50,000 years ago, although special preparation methods occasionally permit accurate analysis of older samples.

The idea behind radiocarbon dating is straightforward, but years of work were required to develop the technique to the point where accurate dates could be obtained.

La datation par le carbone 14 se fonde ainsi sur la présence dans tout organisme de radiocarbone en infime proportion (de l'ordre de 10).