How to calculate age using carbon dating
As explained below, the radiocarbon date tells us when the organism was alive (not when the material was used).
This fact should always be remembered when using radiocarbon dates.
For radiocarbon dating to be possible, the material must once have been part of a living organism.
This means that things like stone, metal and pottery cannot usually be directly dated by this means unless there is some organic material embedded or left as a residue.
Since Nitrogen gas makes up about 78 percent of the Earth's air, by volume, a considerable amount of Carbon-14 is produced.
When these energetic neutrons collide with a nitrogen-14 (seven protons, seven neutrons) atom it turns into a carbon-14 atom (six protons, eight neutrons) and a hydrogen atom (one proton, zero neutrons).Radiocarbon dating is one of the most widely used scientific dating methods in archaeology and environmental science.