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    Radioactive carbon dating problems

    Offering in 1952 his new radiocarbon method for calculating the age of organic material (the time interval since the plant or the animal died), W. Libby clearly saw the limitations of the method and the conditions under which his theoretical figures would be valid: A.

    radioactive carbon dating problems-61

    The main difference between the tracer molecule containing tritium and the normal molecule is that the tracer molecule continually gives off radiation that can be detected with a Geiger counter or some other type of radiation detection instrument.

    In this case, however, it would be possible to find out how fast the water moves into any one part of the plant.

    One would simply pass a Geiger counter over the plant at regular intervals and see where the water has gone. Radioactive tracers have applications in medicine, industry, agriculture, research, and many other fields of science and technology.

    Suess explained the phenomenon by the fact that the increased industrial use of fossil carbon in coal and in oil changed the ratio between the dead carbon C12 and the C14 (radiocarbon) in the atmosphere and therefore also in the biosphere.

    In centuries to come a body of a man or animal who lived and died in the 20th century would appear paradoxically of greater age since death than the body of a man or animal of the 19th century, and if the process of industrial use of fossil, therefore dead, carbon continues to increase, as it is expected will be the case, the paradox will continue into the forthcoming centuries.

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