942 K
17 pp.
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TitleRadiocarbon Dating, Memories, and Hopes
Author(s)Libby, W. F.
Publication DateOctober 1972
Report NumberConf-721019--(P1)
Unique IdentifierACC0338
Other NumbersOSTI ID: 4247579
Research OrgUniversity of California, Los Angeles (United States). Department of Chemistry and Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics
Contract NoNSF Grant No. GA-628
Sponsoring OrgNational Science Foundation (United States)
Other InformationIn the Proceedings of the Eighth International Radiocarbon Dating Conference. Wellington, New Zealand, 18-25 Oct 1972, Vol. 1; Publisher: Royal Society of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand
SubjectN44400 -- Environmental & Earth Sciences -- Radiometric Techniques; Isotope Dating -- Reviews; Archaeology; Carbon 14; Carbon Dioxide; Cosmic Radiation; Earth Atmosphere; Reliability
Related Web PagesWillard Libby, Radiocarbon, and Carbon Dating
AbstractThe history of radiocarbon dating from 1939 to the present is reviewed. The basic principles of radiocarbon dating are that cosmic rays make living things radioactive with {sup 14}C to a certain level fixed by the environment and that at death the intake of food stops so no replenishment of the {sup 14}C steadily lost by the immutable decay occurs. Therefore measurement of the degree of decay gives the time lapse since death, i.e., the radiocarbon age. The equipment developed and experiments performed to measure the specific activity of specimens to be dated are described. The results obtained by world-wide experimenters are discussed. These showed that on simultaneity radiocarbon dating is apparently reliable but that absolute dates may be incorrect by as much as 600 to 700 y. The value of radiocarbon dating to archaeologists, geologists, climatologists, and historians is stressed. (LCL)
942 K
17 pp.
View Document 

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