Dangers of carbon 14 dating

From its origins in Chicago, carbon-14 dating spread rapidly to other centers, for example the grandly named Geochronometric Laboratory at Yale University.

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Pauling called a news conference to announce the discovery of "a new threat in atomic fallout." This time, though, he moved too fast.

His quick estimates of human exposure were proven to be too high by a factor of five.

Libby, for one, cast doubt on the idea, so subversive of the many dates his team had supposedly established with high accuracy.(9) Suess and Stuiver finally pinned down the answer in 1965 by analyzing hundreds of wood samples dated from tree rings.

The best way to transfer the exacting techniques was in the heads of the scientists themselves, as they moved to a new job.

Tricks also spread through visits between laboratories and at meetings, and sometimes even through publications.

As for still earlier periods, carbon-14 dating excited scientists (including some climate scientists) largely because it might shed light on human evolution — the timing of our development as a species, and how climate changes had affected that.(2) It was especially fascinating to discover that our particular species of humans arose something like 100,000 years ago, no doubt deeply influenced by the ice ages.(3) A few scientists noticed that the techniques might also be helpful for the study of climate itself.

See Also: "Libby weighs peril of C-14." May 2, 1958.

See Also: Estimate by Linus Pauling of the amount of radioactive fallout caused by above-ground nuclear weapons tests. See Also: "The Genetic Effects of Radioactive Fallout and Carbon 14 Produced by Nuclear Weapons Tests." October 13, 1962.

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The boy invited the girl to his home, parents weren't home.

Frustrating uncertainties prevailed until workers understood that their results had to be adjusted for the room's temperature and even the barometric pressure.

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