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Based on these numbers as well as estimates for radiation dosages published by James F.Crow, a member of the joint NAS-NRC Committee on Genetic Effects of Atomic Radiation, Pauling determined that one’s exposure to carbon-14 over the entire lifetime of the isotope is actually four times higher than what had normally been assumed for worldwide fallout.
Libby of the University of Chicago in immediate post-WW2 years.
The C14 technique has been and continues to be applied and used in many, many different fields including hydrology, atmospheric science, oceanography, geology, palaeoclimatology, archaeology and biomedicine.
There are three principal isotopes of carbon which occur naturally - C12, C13 (both stable) and C14 (unstable or radioactive).
Nyerup's words illustrate poignantly the critical power and importance of dating; to order time.
Radiocarbon dating has been one of the most significant discoveries in 20th century science.
Renfrew (1973) called it 'the radiocarbon revolution' in describing its impact upon the human sciences.
Oakley (1979) suggested its development meant an almost complete re-writing of the evolution and cultural emergence of the human species.Because of its inherently chemical nature, Pauling quickly became somewhat of a fallout expert, and in 1958 he wrote a paper about the dangers of carbon-14, a topic that had not been discussed at great length.Carbon-14 is a radioactive isotope of carbon that is not prevalent in nature – it comprises roughly one part per trillion of all the carbon in the atmosphere – but is a byproduct of nuclear explosions.Of these 232 kg, Pauling speculated that about one-third had been incorporated into the atmosphere, and that the other two-thirds had fallen back to the Earth in the form of calcium carbonate.The real threat of carbon-14, Pauling felt, is a result of its long half-life."Everything which has come down to us from heathendom is wrapped in a thick fog; it belongs to a space of time we cannot measure.