Radiocarbon dating example

12-Jun-2017 19:10

Making the job harder still, baffling anomalies turned up.

The carbon-14 dates published by different researchers could not be reconciled, leading to confusion and prolonged controversy.

Climate science required the invention and mastery of many difficult techniques.

These had pitfalls, which could lead to controversy.

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Some speculated that such irregularities might be caused by variations in the Earth's magnetic field.This was all the usual sort of laboratory problem-solving, a matter of sorting out difficulties by studying one or another detail systematically for months.More unusual was the need to collaborate with all sorts of people around the world, to gather organic materials for dating.In 1958, Hessel de Vries in the Netherlands showed there were systematic anomalies in the carbon-14 dates of tree rings.His explanation was that the concentration of carbon-14 in the atmosphere had varied over time (by up to one percent).

Some speculated that such irregularities might be caused by variations in the Earth's magnetic field.This was all the usual sort of laboratory problem-solving, a matter of sorting out difficulties by studying one or another detail systematically for months.More unusual was the need to collaborate with all sorts of people around the world, to gather organic materials for dating.In 1958, Hessel de Vries in the Netherlands showed there were systematic anomalies in the carbon-14 dates of tree rings.His explanation was that the concentration of carbon-14 in the atmosphere had varied over time (by up to one percent).The best way to transfer the exacting techniques was in the heads of the scientists themselves, as they moved to a new job.