carbon 14 dating isotopes - Carbon 14 dating calibration
Furthermore, writing this software from scratch is an alternative way of learning how 14C calibration works, not only in strict mathematical terms, but also from a practical point of view.
A radiocarbon date is represented by a date in years BP (before present, that is before 1950 AD) and a standard deviation, like 2430±170.
The combination of these two values is a numerical representation of a laboratory measure performed on the original organic material.
Scientists correct the raw data from radiocarbon dating determinations so as to give what they consider to be a more accurate real-time age.
This is necessary because of the uncertainty about the original concentration of carbon-14, which must be assumed to calculate a radiocarbon age.
By comparing many pieces of wood and combining matches, tree-ring chronologies of over 11,000 years extent have been proposed for use in correcting carbon-14 dates.