Carbon dating news articles
Willard Libby from the University of Chicago put it to the test.By 1949, he had published a paper in Science showing that he had accurately dated samples with known ages, using radiocarbon dating.It turns out our DNA is a kind of molecular clock, keeping time via genetic changes.The identification of fakes and forgeries is a basic issue that has always raised controversy.A decade after Douglass's big discovery, two Berkeley scientists took the first step towards an alternative way to date floating chronologies and indeed any other "once-living" thing. Also known as radiocarbon, carbon-14 is a radioactive isotope of carbon with an atomic nucleus of six protons and eight neutrons. They discovered its half-life, or the time it takes for its radioactivity to fall by half once the living thing dies, is 5,730 years (give or take 40).It's unusually long and consistent half-life made it great for dating.That gives us a very big clue about how old the Earth is.How do scientists figure out when evolutionary events – like species splitting away from a common ancestor – happened?
The Earth and our moon are both more than four-and-a-half billion years old.Douglass passed away just two years after Libby received the Nobel Prize for his work in 1960.Radiocarbon Dating Tree Rings Today Today, dendrochronologists all over the world follow in Douglass' footsteps, and whenever it is not possible to use tree-ring dating to place wood samples in time, they use radiocarbon to date wood samples.Indeed, the "Secret Of The Southwest" was revealed.
An Isotope Called Carbon-14 But alas, pattern-matching in order to date when a tree was cut isn't always possible.He noticed that trees across the same region, in the same climate, develop rings in the same patterns.Douglass, with his knack for pattern-recognition, discovered that he could take younger wood with a known date, and then match its rings alongside the pattern of an older sample.The world is made of tiny building blocks called 'elements'.