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Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! One of the most frequent uses of radiocarbon dating is to estimate the age of organic remains from archaeological sites.

In 1960, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for this work.

He first demonstrated the accuracy of radiocarbon dating by accurately estimating the age of wood from an ancient Egyptian royal barge for which the age was known from historical documents.

Emilio Segrè asserted in his autobiography that Enrico Fermi suggested the concept to Libby in a seminar at Chicago that year.

Libby estimated that the steady state radioactivity concentration of exchangeable carbon-14 would be about 14 disintegrations per minute (dpm) per gram.

With this technique only detecting those atoms that decay during the time interval allotted for an analysis.

AMS allows dating samples containing only a few milligrams of carbon.

These raw dates are also based on a slightly-off historic value for the radiocarbon half-life.

Such value is used for consistency with earlier published dates (see "Radiocarbon half-life" below).

For approximate analysis it is assumed that the cosmic ray flux is constant over long periods of time; thus carbon-14 is produced at a constant rate and the proportion of radioactive to non-radioactive carbon is constant: ca. In 1958 Hessel de Vries showed that the concentration of carbon-14 in the atmosphere varies with time and locality.

For the most accurate work, these variations are compensated by means of calibration curves.

Carbon-14 has a half-life of 5730 years, meaning that the amount of carbon-14 in a sample is halved over the course of 5730 years due to radioactive decay.

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