Without rather special developmental work, it is not generally practicable to measure ages in excess of about twenty thousand years, because the radioactivity of the carbon becomes so slight that it is difficult to get an accurate measurement above background radiation. Histories of archaeology often refer to its impact as the "radiocarbon revolution". Uh Oh. Additional complications come from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil, and from the above-ground nuclear tests done in the s and s. Suess said he drew the line showing the wiggles by "cosmic schwung ", by which he meant that the variations were caused by extraterrestrial forces. It was here that he developed his theory and method of radiocarbon dating, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in
Admittedly, this old wood comes from trees that have been dead for hundreds of years, but you don't have to have an 8,year-old bristlecone pine tree alive today to validly determine that sort of date.
Seldom has a single discovery in chemistry had such an impact on the thinking in so many fields of human endeavor. It is easy to correlate the inner rings of a younger living tree with the outer rings of an older dead tree. The emergence of Mesopotamian civilization. Network with colleagues and access the latest research in your field. Science Age of Humans. Dedicated at the University of Chicago on October 10, Morris, Henry M.