The method was developed by Willard Libby in the late 1940s and soon became a standard tool for archaeologists.Libby received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in 1960.C and counting the amount of each) allows one to date the death of the once-living things.Perhaps you have heard of Ice Man, a man living in the Alps who died and was entombed in glacial ice until recently when the ice moved and melted.Radiocarbon **dating** **uses** isotopes of the element **carbon**. Cosmic rays – high energy particles from beyond the solar system – bombard Earth’s upper atmosphere continually, in the process creating the unstable **carbon**-14. Because it’s unstable, **carbon**-14 will eventually decay back to **carbon**-12 isotopes.Because the cosmic ray bombardment is fairly constant, there’s a near-constant level of *carbon*-14 to *carbon*-12 ratio in Earth’s atmosphere.

The idea behind radiocarbon *dating* is straightforward, but years of work were required to develop the technique to the point where accurate dates could be obtained.The development of this page will be gradual and contributions are invited.There are many, many interesting applications of radiocarbon **dating** in a variety of different fields.Research has been ongoing since the 1960s to determine what the proportion of in the atmosphere has been over the past fifty thousand years.The resulting data, in the form of a calibration curve, is now *used* to convert a given measurement of radiocarbon in a sample into an estimate of the sample's calendar age.

The idea behind radiocarbon *dating* is straightforward, but years of work were required to develop the technique to the point where accurate dates could be obtained.

The development of this page will be gradual and contributions are invited.

There are many, many interesting applications of radiocarbon **dating** in a variety of different fields.

Research has been ongoing since the 1960s to determine what the proportion of in the atmosphere has been over the past fifty thousand years.

The resulting data, in the form of a calibration curve, is now *used* to convert a given measurement of radiocarbon in a sample into an estimate of the sample's calendar age.

The technique of comparing the abundance ratio of a radioactive isotope to a reference isotope to determine the age of a material is called radioactive **dating**.