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Carbon dating willard libby


In 1947 American chemist Willard Libby (1908-1980) figured that plants would absorb some of this trace carbon-14 while they absorbed ordinary carbon in photosynthesis. Once the plant died, of course, it couldn't absorb any more carbon of any kind, and the carbon-14 it contained would decay at its usual rate without being replaced. By finding the concentration of carbon-14 left in the remains of a plant, you could calculate the amount of time since the plant had died. With this technique scientists could determine the age of plant-based artifacts -- wood, parchment, textiles -- up to 45,000 years old. This has allowed estimates of the age of Egyptian mummies, prehistoric dwellings, and so forth.


Carbon dating willard libby

Carbon dating willard libby