Through the s and beyond, carbon workers published detailed tables of dates painstakingly derived from samples of a wondrous variety of materials, including charcoal, peat, clamshells, antlers, pine cones, and the stomach contents of an extinct Moa found buried in New Zealand. The additional samples allow errors such as background radiation and systematic errors in the laboratory setup to be detected and corrected for. This is now the most widely used method of age estimation in the field of archaeology. The Turin Shroud. The equation governing the decay of a radioactive isotope is:
This provides a value for the background radiation, which must be subtracted from the measured activity of the sample being dated to get the activity attributable solely to that sample's 14 C.
The Story of Carbon Dating
Apart from forest fires, we found that the trees were not the prime culprits, except for the case where humans were using the trees for fuel! Results of the largest intercomparison to date of EC in a uniform reference material, however, indicate a severe measurement problem: Libby —80 and his coworkers in — Glaciology Hydrogeology Marine geology. However, the rates of movement of carbon throughout the cycle were not then known. Also, the larger the sample the better, although new techniques mean smaller samples can sometimes be tested more effectively. The commemorative plaque reads: