ELI5: Explain Like I'm 5

carbon dating

Carbon dating is a way for scientists to figure out how old objects made from organic material (material that comes from living things) are. All living things contain a special type of molecule called carbon. When living things die, they stop having new carbon molecules. Scientists can use a process called radiocarbon dating to figure out how much carbon is left in the object. They do this by measuring the amount of a special type of carbon called Carbon-14. It is called radiocarbon because it is radioactive. That means it breaks down over time and gets smaller and smaller. And, since they can measure how much carbon-14 is still in the object, they can figure out how old it is.