Just around the same time that the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, scientists developed a way to accurately date some ancient material.Known as carbon-14 dating, this process has been a valuable tool in studying the origins of the scrolls. But carbon can take several different forms including stable atoms with 6 neutrons in the center and unstable atoms with 8 neutrons (carbon-14).
Laboratory research has shown that the radioactive decay of Carbon-14 occurs in a half-life of 5,73040 years through beta decay that causes the Carbon-14 to revert back to Nitrogen-14.
That means that starting with one pound of 100% Carbon-14, half of it would decay in 5,730 years, leaving 50%, or half a pound.
The Carbon-14 dating method was introduced by Dr. Libby (1908-1980) at the University of Chicago in 1949. Carbon-12 is the normal stable isotope of Carbon (99% of all Carbon), which is the basic building block of organic life forms.
He claimed that it was capable of dating animal, plant and human remains of fairly recent origin. As they say on Star Trek, we are all carbon based units.
Prior to looking at the many flaws in the Carbon-14 Dating Technique, it should be noted that no radiometric technique is reliable.
They all start with similar flaws, but Carbon-14 has more than the rest.This tells them when the goat died—and thus the maximum age of the parchment.Carbon-14 dating techniques have improved over time.The Carbon-14 produced by this process is then converted into carbon dioxide, just as normal Carbon-12 becomes carbon dioxide.The Carbon-14 Dioxide is then utilized by plants during their normal metabolism.When a plant or animal is alive, the percentage of carbon 14 in its system is the same as in the surrounding environment.