Bristlecone pine is both worse and better to use than oak.
It is worse, in that the rings are very thin, and roughly 5% of the time the tree either does not grow a ring in a year or else grows two rings.
time can tell exactly how long ago the organism died. For any logical method, if the assumptions are right, and the reasoning is valid, then the conclusion is right. Carbon-14 dating assumptions ratio has never changed. Nothing but radioactive decay would alter the ratio in a dead plant or animal. We will look at the method first, and then the assumptions.
There are three simple steps to getting a carbon-14 date: sample preparation, getting the ratio, and using a calibration chart to get the age from the ratio. Before dating, samples are first soaked in an 8% HCL, and then an Na OH caustic solution to clean them of contaminants, such as dirt, microbes, and tree sap.
So if one does these three steps: prepare a valid sample well, run the test correctly, and read the right calibration, the date should be good.
Anyway, all these different calibrations from around the world agree with each other within about 5%. 1973, Stuiver & Pearson 1986, Stuiver & Reimer 1986, van der Plicht & Mook 1989 and others).So, by comparing many different trees in a forest in South Germany, and performing radiocarbon dating on a large number of samples, a calibration scale was developed.Other researchers did similar work in a forest in Northern Germany.While this soaking removes some good material too, it does not change the C ratio, but it is altered the same way in the calibration samples too.For example, while the Catholic Church was unwilling to let scientists burn a square inch piece of the Shroud of Turin, when mass spec technology advanced, it was willing to let them burn a thread, and that was all that was needed. Finally, one reads the age from a calibration chart of age vs. In the Radiocarbon journal the ratio is reported, so readers can calibrate for themselves.(On the other hand, if you don't like puns, you might not.) So if you believe your assumptions, use good methods, what could go wrong?Well, it turns out the problems with early carbon-14 were so severe, that many historians were on the verge of abandoning it.Using tree rings, the calibration of carbon-14 has been extended back to ~4,760 B. Of course, they could all be wrong, but if enough independent studies agree with each other, then being wrong becomes a more remote possibility.In addition to tree rings, scientists have looked at what are called lake varves in Northern Sweden. While many probably have not thought about it before, carbon-14 dating relates to Christianity and Judaism in interesting ways. Since there are many misconceptions about carbon-14 dating, this paper will explain the principle, the method, some early problems with it, and its current trustworthiness.