Ams dating method

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".The radiocarbon method was developed by a team of scientists led by the late Professor Willard F.Libby of the University of Chicago in immediate post-WW2 years.

The reaction is: (Where n is a neutron and p is a proton).

Libby and his team intially tested the radiocarbon method on samples from prehistoric Egypt.

They chose samples whose age could be independently determined.

These isotopes are present in the following amounts C12 - 98.89%, C13 - 1.11% and C14 - 0.00000000010%.

Thus, one carbon 14 atom exists in nature for every 1,000,000,000,000 C12 atoms in living material.

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