Radiocarbon dating curve

14C enters the dissolved inorganic carbon pool in the oceans, lakes and rivers.From there it is incorporated into shell, corals and other marine organisms.The radiocarbon age is determined by the equation where -8033 represents the mean lifetime of 14C (Stuiver and Polach, 1977), Asn is the activity in counts per minute of the sample and Aon is the counts per minute of the modern standard.A variant of this equation is also used when the samples are analysed by AMS.

14C is radioactive and has a half-life of 5730 years.All radiocarbon laboratories either standardize to the US National Bureau of Standards Oxalic Acid I (OX-I) which is derived from Sugar Beets in 1955 or a secondary standard NBS OX-II (grown in 1977) or Australian National University Sucrose (ANU), which is sugar from the 1974 growing season in Australia.Both the OX-II and ANU have been extensively cross-calibrated to OX-I and can be used to normalize a sample for radiocarbon dating.His first publication showed the comparisons between known age samples and radiocarbon age (Libby et al, 1949; Libby, 1952). For the first time it was possible to obtain ages for many events which occurred over the past ~50,000 years.In 1960 Libby was awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry for this contribution.

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