Why is radiocarbon dating only rarely applied in geological work


26-Feb-2020 11:14

With correction for radioactive decay during the intervening years, such old samples hopefully would show the same starting carbon-14 level as exists today. His conclusion was that over the past 5,000 years the carbon-14 level in living materials has remained constant within the 5 percent precision of measurement.

A dating method was thus available, subject only to confirmation by actual application to specific chronologic problems.

So low is such a carbon-14 level that no one had detected natural carbon-14 until Libby, guided by his own predictions, set out specifically to measure it.

A final problem of importance in carbon-14 dating is the matter of sample contamination.Since Libby’s foundational studies, tens of thousands of carbon-14 measurements of natural materials have been made.



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