Theoretically, radiocarbon techniques have the ability to date samples to around 75,000 years, but the working threshold of reliable dating is around 50,000 years.Samples significantly older than this have very little or even no measurable C left.According to the science behind radiocarbon dating, very old samples should have no measurable C is thought to exist because of some sort of unexplained phenomenon or contamination.Therefore, the RATE team has identified a valid anomaly in radiocarbon research which deserves further research.Before proposing their alternate theory about the residual C dead and thus providing an age for the samples around 50,000 years, the RATE team has come up with a theory for how such an inconsistency could occur.
The RATE research in the area of radiocarbon has focused on the "blank" sample date.
It can combine with other atoms and molecules such as oxygen to create carbon dioxide, or CO2.
Through the process of photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide which contains C left in a sample to accurately measure without contamination.
The use of carbon-14, also known as radiocarbon, to date organic materials has been an important method in both archaeology and geology.
The technique was pioneered over fifty years ago by the physical chemist Willard Libby, who won the 1960 Nobel Prize for his work on C.