Carbon 14 dating debate homeless dating blog

03-Oct-2020 08:46

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Since 1947, scientists have reckoned the ages of many old objects by measuring the amounts of radioactive carbon they contain.New research shows, however, that some estimates based on carbon may have erred by thousands of years.It is too soon to know whether the discovery will seriously upset the estimated dates of events like the arrival of human beings in the Western Hemisphere, scientists said.But it is already clear that the carbon method of dating will have to be recalibrated and corrected in some cases.Radiocarbon dating (also referred to as carbon dating or carbon-14 dating) is a method for determining the age of an object containing organic material by using the properties of radiocarbon, a radioactive isotope of carbon.The method was developed in the late 1940s at the University of Chicago by Willard Libby, who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in 1960.But when a plant or animal dies, it can no longer accumulate fresh carbon 14, and the supply in the organism at the time of death is gradually depleted.

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Using a mass spectrometer, an instrument that accelerates streams of atoms and uses magnets to sort them out according to mass and electric charge, the group has learned to measure the ratio of uranium to thorium very precisely.

Carbon 14 is thought to be mainly a product of bombardment of the atmosphere by cosmic rays, so cosmic ray intensity would affect the amount of carbon 14 in the environment at any given time.

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