In 1946, Willard Libby proposed an innovative method for dating organic materials by measuring their content of carbon-14, a newly discovered radioactive isotope of carbon. Known as radiocarbon dating, this method provides objective age estimates for carbon-based objects that originated from living organisms.
What did Willard Libby invent in 1949?
radiocarbon dating Willard Frank Libby (December 17, 1908 – September 8, 1980) was an American physical chemist noted for his role in the 1949 development of radiocarbon dating, a process which revolutionized archaeology and palaeontology.
Who discovered carbon-14 isotope?
Martin Kamen In 1940 Martin Kamen discovered radioactive carbon-14 (an isotope of carbon) and found that it had a half-life of about 5,700 years. Scientists had also found that some of the nitrogen in the atmosphere was turned into carbon-14 when hit with cosmic rays.
Why did Willard Libby create carbon dating?
Willard Libby (1908–1980), a professor of chemistry at the University of Chicago, began the research that led him to radiocarbon dating in 1945. Libby cleverly realized that carbon-14 in the atmosphere would find its way into living matter, which would thus be tagged with the radioactive isotope.