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Title: Radiocarbon dating, memories, and hopes

Abstract

The 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)

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of California, Los Angeles (United States). Department of Chemistry and Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics
Sponsoring Org.:
National Science Foundation (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
4247579
Report Number(s):
Conf-721019-(P1)
NSF Grant No. GA-628; NSA-31-008678
NSA Number:
NSA-31-008678
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: International radiocarbon dating conference, Wellington, New Zealand, 18 Oct 1972; Other Information: See CONF-721019--(P1). Orig. Receipt Date: 30-JUN-75; Related Information: In: Proceedings of the eighth international radiocarbon dating conference. Vol. 1, organized by the Royal Society of New Zealand; Rafter, T.A.; Grant-Taylor, T. (comps.)
Country of Publication:
New Zealand
Language:
English
Subject:
N44400* -Environmental & Earth Sciences-Radiometric Techniques; *ISOTOPE DATING- REVIEWS; ARCHAEOLOGY; CARBON 14; CARBON DIOXIDE; COSMIC RADIATION; EARTH ATMOSPHERE; RELIABILITY

Citation Formats

Libby, W F. Radiocarbon dating, memories, and hopes. New Zealand: N. p., 1972. Web.
Libby, W F. Radiocarbon dating, memories, and hopes. New Zealand.
Libby, W F. Sat . "Radiocarbon dating, memories, and hopes". New Zealand. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/4247579.
@article{osti_4247579,
title = {Radiocarbon dating, memories, and hopes},
author = {Libby, W F},
abstractNote = {The 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)},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {New Zealand},
year = {Sat Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 1972},
month = {Sat Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 1972}
}

Conference:
Other availability
Please see Document Availability for additional information on obtaining the full-text document. Library patrons may search WorldCat to identify libraries that hold this conference proceeding.

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