Renfrew (1973) called it 'the radiocarbon revolution' in describing its impact upon the human sciences.Oakley (1979) suggested its development meant an almost complete re-writing of the evolution and cultural emergence of the human species.A new spectroscopic technique offers ultra-sensitive optical detection of radiocarbon dioxide.The approach shows promise as a measurement tool in many fields, including carbon dating and greenhouse gas detection. It is an accurate way to date specific geologic events.There are many radiometric clocks and when applied to appropriate materials, the dating can be very accurate.The Waikato laboratory determines C14 activity through the measurement of beta particles.Samples are converted to benzene through hydrolysis of lithium carbide and catalytic trimerisation of acetylene.
This is an enormous branch of geochemistry called Geochronology.
Around the world, only about 100 facilities house this equipment.
“Accelerator mass spectroscopy can be used to carbon date bones, wood, fabrics or anything of biological origin, pinpointing its age of up to 50,000 years ago,” said Iacopo Galli, a member of the research team.
The radiocarbon method was developed by a team of scientists led by the late Professor Willard F.
Libby of the University of Chicago in immediate post-WW2 years.
These include some that establish a relative chronology in which occurrences can be placed in the correct sequence relative to one another or to some known succession of events.