Carbon 14 dating in wine
Before Radiocarbon dating was able to be discovered, someone had to find the existence of the C isotope.In 1940 Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben at the University of California, Berkeley Radiation Laboratory did just that.Using this hypothesis, the initial half-life he determined was 5568 give or take 30 years.The accuracy of this proposal was proven by dating a piece of wood from an Ancient Egyptian barge, of whose age was already known.The carbon-14 isotope would vanish from Earth's atmosphere in less than a million years were it not for the constant influx of cosmic rays interacting with molecules of nitrogen (NFigure 1: Diagram of the formation of carbon-14 (forward), the decay of carbon-14 (reverse).Carbon-14 is constantly be generated in the atmosphere and cycled through the carbon and nitrogen cycles.
It uses the naturally occurring radioisotope carbon-14 (14C) to estimate the age of carbon-bearing materials up to about 58,000 to 62,000 years old. Carbon-14 has a relatively short half-life of 5,730 years, meaning that the fraction of carbon-14 in a sample is halved over the course of 5,730 years due to radioactive decay to nitrogen-14.
In 1960, Libby was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for this work.