Carbon-14 dating, also known as **radiocarbon dating**, is a method used to determine the age of a sample by examining the amount of carbon-14 remaining against its known half-life.

## The Science Behind Carbon-14 Dating

Carbon-14 is a radioactive isotope of carbon, meaning it has an unstable nucleus that decays over time. The half-life of carbon-14 is approximately 5,730 years. This means that after 5,730 years, half of the original amount of carbon-14 in a sample will have decayed.

## How Does Carbon-14 Dating Work?

Living organisms constantly take in carbon from the environment. This carbon includes a small amount of carbon-14. When an organism dies, it no longer takes in carbon. The carbon-14 in the organism's remains begins to decay, and the amount of carbon-14 remaining can be used to determine the time since death.

## Which Phrase Best Describes Carbon-14 Dating?

The best phrase to describe carbon-14 dating is **"a radiometric dating method."** Here's why:

**Radiometric**refers to the use of radioactive isotopes to determine the age of a sample. Carbon-14 dating relies on the decay of carbon-14, a radioactive isotope.**Dating method**simply states the purpose of the technique, which is to determine the age of a sample.

## Other Relevant Phrases:

While "radiometric dating method" is the most accurate and concise phrase, other phrases can also be used to describe carbon-14 dating, including:

**Radiocarbon dating:**This is the most common alternative name for the method.**Carbon-14 analysis:**This emphasizes the specific isotope used.**Age determination method:**This focuses on the purpose of the technique.

Ultimately, the best phrase to use depends on the context of your discussion.