Half life and radiocarbon dating
American physical chemist Willard Libby led a team of scientists in the post World War II era to develop a method that measures radiocarbon activity.He is credited to be the first scientist to suggest that the unstable carbon isotope called radiocarbon or carbon 14 might exist in living matter. Libby and his team of scientists were able to publish a paper summarizing the first detection of radiocarbon in an organic sample. Libby who first measured radiocarbon’s rate of decay and established 5568 years ± 30 years as the half-life. Libby was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in recognition of his efforts to develop radiocarbon dating.1.The radiocarbon age of a certain sample of unknown age can be determined by measuring its carbon 14 content and comparing the result to the carbon 14 activity in modern and background samples.The principal modern standard used by radiocarbon dating labs was the Oxalic Acid I obtained from the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Maryland. Around 95% of the radiocarbon activity of Oxalic Acid I is equal to the measured radiocarbon activity of the absolute radiocarbon standard—a wood in 1890 unaffected by fossil fuel effects.
Radiocarbon dating is essentially a method designed to measure residual radioactivity.Radiocarbon Dating Groundwater The application of radiocarbon dating to groundwater analysis can offer a technique to predict the over-pumping of the aquifer before it becomes contaminated or overexploited.Tracer-Free AMS Dating Lab Beta Analytic does not accept pharmaceutical samples with "tracer Carbon-14" or any other material containing artificial Carbon-14 to eliminate the risk of cross-contamination.This scintillator produces a flash of light when it interacts with a beta particle.A vial with a sample is passed between two photomultipliers, and only when both devices register the flash of light that a count is made.
Liquid scintillation counting is another radiocarbon dating technique that was popular in the 1960s.