It cannot be used to date volcanic rocks, for example.
The rate of decay of N in 5,730 years (plus or minus 40 years).
We will deal with carbon dating first and then with the other dating methods.
Carbon has unique properties that are essential for life on Earth.
Familiar to us as the black substance in charred wood, as diamonds, and the graphite in “lead” pencils, carbon comes in several forms, or isotopes.
One rare form has atoms that are 14 times as heavy as hydrogen atoms: carbon-14, or C ratio gets smaller.
So, we have a “clock” which starts ticking the moment something dies.
Obviously, this works only for things which were once living.