Uses of radioisotopes in radiocarbon dating

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More recently, we have learned that short-term changes in C in the atmosphere can be signals of climatic changes.

This article is reproduced from Nuclear News, June 19998, and is based on a paper presented at the ANS Winter Meeting, held November 16-20, 1997, in Albuquerquete N. AMS has become an accurate and precise method for dating many types of materials - including such interesting items as the Shroud of Turin and the Dead Sea Scrolls, which will be discussed later—where only a small sample can be spared.For historical reasons, uncalibrated radiocarbon measurements are often referred to a half-life of 5568 years.However, this inconsistency is corrected during calibration [the reason for using the (Willard F.) Libby half-life of 5568 years instead of the correct one of 5730 years has to do with the finding in about 1962 that the true half-life was 573030 years.Accurate dating also had to wait for a good calibration of the radiocarbon time-scale in the 1960s, using an absolute chronology based on tree rings.The radiocarbon time-scale has now been calibrated with tree rings to more than 10000 years before present, and beyond that using a coral chronology (Stuiver, et al., 1993).

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