Radiocarbon dating and the
Carbon-14 was discovered on February 27, 1940, by Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben at the University of California Radiation Laboratory in Berkeley, California.
Its existence had been suggested by Franz Kurie in 1934.
This resemblance is used in chemical and biological research, in a technique called carbon labeling: carbon-14 atoms can be used to replace nonradioactive carbon, in order to trace chemical and biochemical reactions involving carbon atoms from any given organic compound.
Its presence in organic materials is the basis of the radiocarbon dating method pioneered by Willard Libby and colleagues (1949) to date archaeological, geological and hydrogeological samples.Most carbon-14 is created from nitrogen-14 in the earth’s upper atmosphere as a consequence of cosmic ray bombardment.It is one of several similarly formed cosmogenic nuclides.Newly formed carbon-14 atoms oxidize to carbon dioxide and become thoroughly mixed with the other atmospheric gases, through atmospheric dynamics.Upon reaching the earth’s surface, a small percentage of carbon-14 containing carbon dioxide is taken up by plants and then incorporation into plant biomolecules via photosynthesis.