Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 18 Issue 03

View Issue TOC
Volume 18, No. 3
Pages 18 - 31

OpenAccess

Ten Years of Compound-Specific Radiocarbon Analysis

Anitra E. Ingalls Ann Pearson
First Paragraph

Sixty years ago, scientists demonstrated that cosmic rays react with nitrogen (14N) in the atmosphere, substituting a neutron for a proton to produce 14C (Libby, 1946; Libby et al., 1949). Soon it was discovered that 14C is radioactive and that this isotope of carbon—better known as radiocarbon—would be useful as a clock for determining the age of materials on Earth (see Box 1). In particular, 14C dating of the organic remains of living organisms has been an indispensable tool for archaeologists, paleontologists, historians, and geochemists, whose work fundamentally depends on determining when in the past an organism or whole ecosystem was alive.

Citation

Ingalls, A.E., and A. Pearson. 2005. Ten years of compound-specific radiocarbon analysis. Oceanography 18(3):18–31, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2005.22.

Copyright & Usage

This is an open access article made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format as long as users cite the materials appropriately, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate the changes that were made to the original content. Images, animations, videos, or other third-party material used in articles are included in the Creative Commons license unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If the material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission directly from the license holder to reproduce the material.