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In 1946, Libby proposed this groundbreaking idea in the journal Physical Review.
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A detailed description of radiocarbon dating is available at the Wikipedia radiocarbon dating web page.
Bottom line: Radiocarbon dating is a technique used by scientists to learn the ages of biological specimens from the distant past.
If you ever wondered why nuclear tests are now performed underground, this is why.
Most radiocarbon dating today is done using an accelerator mass spectrometer, an instrument that directly counts the numbers of carbon-14 and carbon-12 in a sample.
Here’s an example using the simplest atom, hydrogen. Carbon-14 is an unstable isotope of carbon that will eventually decay at a known rate to become carbon-12.