The radiocarbon years ( Engl. Radiocarbon = radiocarbon ) is a virtual measurement of time after the radiocarbon dating (in the Anglo-American language as "radiocarbon dating" means). It would correspond to a tropical year if the originally made assumptions were exactly correct:
- The rate of formation of 14 C nuclei on earth was constant at today's level and the ratio of 14 C / 12 C was completely constant. With the help of tree rings ( dendrochronology ), a calibration curve has now been created that records the actual fluctuations.
- The half-life used is correct. In fact, it is around 3% too small. For comparability with older literature, uncalibrated 14 C data are still given, calculated with the old value.
14 C-years are therefore only a different way of writing the measured isotope ratio and should be regarded as chronologically dimensionless. They become calendar years by means of calibration .
See also: Age determination