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Research for P4 Data Task

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Physics Research  – P4

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Source 1

Willard Frank Libby developed the carbon-14 dating method that was used in dating the Turin Shroud.

1908 – 1980.

 Willard Libby was an American Chemist, best known for his development carbon 14 techniques. Libby was born Dec. 17, 1908 in Grand Valley, Colorado. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of California-Berkeley in 1933, where he stayed on as an Instructor until 1941. At this time, he moved to Columbia, New York and joined Columbia University’s Division of War Research to work on the development of the atomic bomb. After the war, he served as a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Chicago.

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Wood, charcoal, marine and fresh water shells, bone & antler.

Anything organic or once living.

Grains, seeds, nutshells, grasses, twigs, cloth, paper, hide, burnt bones, organic material mixed with soil charcoal & wood charred bones

Source 3

Radioactivity: Spontaneous changes in a nucleus accompanied by the emission of energy from the nucleus as a radiation.

Radioactive Half-Life: A period of time in which half the nuclei of a species of radioactive substance would decay.

We imagine that we have a radioactive substance. When the nuclei of the substance decay, they emit radiation (alpha, beta, or gamma rays) that can be detected by counters such as a Geiger Counter. For a Geiger Counter, each time an emitted particle passes through the Geiger Counter, the counter makes a clicking sound. The number of clicks per unit time of the counter tells us how many decays per unit time are occurring. But the rate of clicks decreases with time because the rate is directly proportional to the number of radioactive nuclei in the substance that can decay.

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reservoir effect." For example:

 It is possible for snails to live in water that contains carbon leached out of ancient limestone which has no measurable C-14 left. As a result, the snails' shells will also be deficient in C-14 and test older than their true age.

In a few areas of the world, seals dine on fish that in turn had eaten other fish and plants that lived in sea water that has been traveling along the bottom of the ocean for thousands of years, gradually losing its C-14 content. Again, the quantity of C-14 in their environment is deficient. They would also test older than they really are.

According to EvoWiki.org: "The problem caused by the reservoir effect is well known by archaeologists, geologists, and anybody else who use radiocarbon dates; they test for it and take it into account when interpreting radiocarbon data."

Contamination of the sample can include sufficient C-14 to make it seem newer than it really is. Porous samples can contain recently living material with a full "charge" of C-14. Sample cleaning and proper laboratory technique are critical.

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