Chronological methods 8 radiocarbon dating
The radiocarbon dating method is based on the fact that radiocarbon is constantly being created in the atmosphere by the interaction of cosmic rays with atmospheric nitrogen.
The resulting radiocarbon combines with atmospheric oxygen to form radioactive carbon dioxide, which is incorporated into plants by photosynthesis; animals then acquire in a sample from a dead plant or animal such as a piece of wood or a fragment of bone provides information that can be used to calculate when the animal or plant died.
Other corrections must be made to account for the proportion of throughout the biosphere (reservoir effects).
Additional complications come from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil, and from the above-ground nuclear tests done in the 1950s and 1960s.
Libbys discoveries gave immediate support and even vindication to three independent conclusions of my research into natural events of the past, as described in Worlds in Collision and Earth in Upheavalthe time the Ice Age ended, the time petroleum was deposited, and the time of the classical period of Meso-american civilization.
However, the main interest for me in radiocarbon tests was in checking on historical dates of the ancient East, of the period covered in Ages in Chaos.
Research has been ongoing since the 1960s to determine what the proportion of in the atmosphere has been over the past fifty thousand years.
However, two-thirds of dates from the south are radiocarbon dates, a technique that is particularly sensitive to carbon contaminants of a younger age that can be difficult to remove using routine pretreatment protocols.
This method was as if created to sit in judgment in the litigation between the accepted and revised time tables.
In Ages in Chaos we have seen that, with the fall of the Middle Kingdom and the Exodus synchronized, events in the histories of the peoples of the ancient world coincide all along the centuries.
Libby, then of the University of Chicago, published his Radiocarbon Dating.
It was about half a century after the discovery of cosmic rays that he had come upon the idea, and also developed a method, of using the radioactivity resulting from cosmic rays for the purpose of dating organic remains.