After a creature's death the isotope would slowly decay away over millennia at a fixed rate.
Thus the less of it that remained in an object, in proportion to normal carbon, the older the object was.
Climate science required the invention and mastery of many difficult techniques.
These had pitfalls, which could lead to controversy.
Libby of the University of Chicago in immediate post-WW2 years.Known as radiocarbon dating, this method provides objective age estimates for carbon-based objects that originated from living organisms.The “radiocarbon revolution” made possible by Libby’s discovery greatly benefitted the fields of archaeology and geology by allowing practitioners to develop more precise historical chronologies across geography and cultures.Nyerup's words illustrate poignantly the critical power and importance of dating; to order time.Radiocarbon dating has been one of the most significant discoveries in 20th century science.The radioactive isotope carbon-14 is created in the upper atmosphere when cosmic-ray particles from outer space strike nitrogen atoms and transform them into radioactive carbon.