A huge amount of work is currently underway to extend and improve the calibration curve.In 2008 we could only calibrate radiocarbon dates until 26,000 years.As not all objects absorb fluorine at the same rate, this also undermines the accuracy of such a dating technique.Although this can be compensated for by accommodating for the rate of absorption in calculations, such an accommodation tends to have a rather large margin of error.
Free fluorine has a characteristic pungent odor, detectable at concentrations as low as 20 ppb.
Radiocarbon dating has transformed our understanding of the past 50,000 years.
Professor Willard Libby produced the first radiocarbon dates in 1949 and was later awarded the Nobel Prize for his efforts.
Older bones have more fluorine and uranium and less nitrogen.
But because decomposition happens at different speeds in different places, it's not possible to compare bones from different sites.