Radiocarbon dating age

30 Aug

Organisms at the base of the food chain that photosynthesize – for example, plants and algae – use the carbon in Earth’s atmosphere.

They have the same ratio of carbon-14 to carbon-12 as the atmosphere, and this same ratio is then carried up the food chain all the way to apex predators, like sharks.

Even for the first investigation, there was a possibility of using radiocarbon dating to determine the age of the linen from which the shroud was woven.

It can be used on objects as old as about 62,000 years.

In Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS), for example, the number of radiocarbon atoms in a stream of atoms coming from the sample is counted.

Thus there are statistical counting uncertainties proportional to the square root of the number of atoms counted.

1 - Department of Geosciences, 2 - Department of Physics, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA 3 - Research Laboratory for Archaeology and History of Art, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 3QJ, UK 4 - Institut für Mittelenergiephysik, ETH-Hönggerberg, CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland 5 - Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, New York 10964, USA 6 - Research Laboratory, British Museum, London WC1B 3DG, UK Very small samples from the Shroud of Turin have been dated by accelerator mass spectrometry in laboratories at Arizona, Oxford and Zurich.

As Controls, three samples whose ages had been determined independently were also dated.