Sex chat with unknown - Radiocarbon dating is wrong

by  |  07-Jan-2017 02:08

The clock was initially calibrated by dating objects of known age such as Egyptian mummies and bread from Pompeii; work that won Willard Libby the 1960 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.But even he “realized that there probably would be variation”, says Christopher Bronk Ramsey, a geochronologist at the University of Oxford, UK, who led the latest work, published today in Science.By measuring the ratio of the radio isotope to non-radioactive carbon, the amount of carbon-14 decay can be worked out, thereby giving an age for the specimen in question.

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They arrived at this conclusion by comparing age estimates obtained using two different methods - analysis of radioactive carbon in a sample and determination of the ratio of uranium to thorium in the sample.

In some cases, the latter ratio appears to be a much more accurate gauge of age than the customary method of carbon dating, the scientists said.

The technique hinges on carbon-14, a radioactive isotope of the element that, unlike other more stable forms of carbon, decays away at a steady rate.

Organisms capture a certain amount of carbon-14 from the atmosphere when they are alive.

Since 1947, scientists have reckoned the ages of many old objects by measuring the amounts of radioactive carbon they contain.

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