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Radioactive carbon dating wikipedia

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Radiometric dating is a technique used to date materials based on a knowledge of the decay rates of naturally occurring isotopes, and the current abundances.

It is our principal source of information about the age of the Earth and a significant source of information about rates of evolutionary change.

It has successfully determined the age of artifacts up to 50,000 years ago.

Libby was the son of a California farmer and attended college and graduate school at the University of California at Berkeley.

Calibration Curve Image Source: “Radiocarbon Dating”.

A particular isotope of a particular element is called a nuclide. That is, at some random point in time, an atom of such a nuclide will be transformed into a different nuclide by the process known as radioactive decay.

He tested the radioactive half-lives of numerous historic artifacts, from the bones of ancient people to the wood of a sunken ship.

In June 1952, Time Magazine popularized Libby’s discovery, running an article describing how radiocarbon dating was used to measure the age of a charred piece of oak from England’s mysterious Stonehenge monument “at 3,800 years old—give or take about 275 years.” Libby was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1960 "for his method to use carbon-14 for age determination in archaeology, geology, geophysics, and other branches of science." Willard F.

The levels of 14C present in a specimen can be measured in a variety of ways; however the invention of accelerator-based mass spectrometric techniques have drastically increased measurement accuracy, as it provides a count of the number of 14C atoms present in a sample.

It has been used to date specimens up to 60,000 years in age.