Radiocarbon dating process


03-Jan-2017 00:49

Radiocarbon decays slowly in a living organism, and the amount lost is continually replenished as long as the organism takes in air or food.Once the organism dies, however, it ceases to absorb carbon-14, so that the amount of the radiocarbon in its tissues steadily decreases.Desmond Clark (1979) wrote that were it not for radiocarbon dating, "we would still be foundering in a sea of imprecisions sometime bred of inspired guesswork but more often of imaginative speculation" (Clark, 1979:7).Writing of the European Upper Palaeolithic, Movius (1960) concluded that "time alone is the lens that can throw it into focus".Protons and neutrons make up the center (nucleus) of the atom, and electrons form shells around the nucleus.The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom determines the element.Willard Libby (1908–1980), a professor of chemistry at the University of Chicago, began the research that led him to radiocarbon dating in 1945.

In 1946, Libby proposed this groundbreaking idea in the journal Physical Review.

Known as radiocarbon dating, this method provides objective age estimates for carbon-based objects that originated from living organisms.