Accuracy and precision in radiocarbon dating

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If a sample has the same proportion of radiocarbon as that of the tree ring, it is safe to conclude that they are of the same age.

In practice, tree-ring calibration is not as straightforward due to many factors, the most significant of which is that individual measurements made on the tree rings and the sample have limited precision so a range of possible calendar years is obtained.

Calibration of radiocarbon results is needed to account for changes in the atmospheric concentration of carbon-14 over time.The tree rings were dated through dendrochronology.At present, tree rings are still used to calibrate radiocarbon determinations.The first calibration curve for radiocarbon dating was based on a continuous tree-ring sequence stretching back to 8,000 years.This tree-ring sequence, established by Wesley Ferguson in the 1960s, aided Hans Suess to publish the first useful calibration curve.

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