Once dead, however, living organisms stop absorbing carbon and it is the behaviour of C14 after this point that is interesting.Libby discovered that radiocarbon decays with a half-life of 5568 years .It is a fact that when an organism dies no more C14 is absorbed.
Indeed, today it is generally agreed that Libby was wrong and that the half-life of C14 is actually closer to 5730 years .This is a discrepancy of 162 years and becomes very significant when dating samples thousands of years old."Everything that has come down to us from heathendom is wrapped in a thick fog; it belongs to a space of time that we cannot measure.We know that it is older than Christendom, but whether by a couple of years or a couple of centuries, or even by more than a millennium we can do no more than guess"  Many of us are intimidated by science.By 1960 their work was complete and in December of the same year Libby was presented with the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
One of the scientists who nominated Libby for the award commented: Libby discovered that the unstable radioactive component of carbon (C14) disintegrated at a predictable level against the stable elements of the carbon composite (C12 and C13).
C14 is formed, albeit on a miniscule level, due to bombardments of cosmic rays that hit our planet, on a day-to-day basis, and interact with our atmosphere .
These rays strike the earth’s existing atoms and break them up leaving the neutrons of these atoms to float around our atmosphere.
But with his Nobel Prize for chemistry came complete belief from Libby in his new system.
Libby radiocarbon dated Egyptian archaeological samples that had already been historically dated – the ancient Egyptians kept good records of their chronology.
These rogue carbon 14 isotopes, which are produced at a steady rate, are then oxidized and absorbed into the biosphere through the process of photosynthesis and the natural food chain .