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1952: An analysis of the carbon-14 radioisotope in a piece of charred oak from an excavated pit at Stonehenge estimates that the mysterious structure on England's Salisbury Plain is 3,800 years old, plus or minus 275 years.

The carbon-dating process that dated Stonehenge to about 1848 B. was conducted by the technique's godfather, Willard Libby.

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I remember explaining polyamory to my father when I met him in Utah.

He just shrugged and said “I guess I’m too old-fashioned for that sort of thing to make sense.” I feel blessed to have a father with the rare skill of being able to generate “I am old-fashioned” as a counter-hypothesis to “other people are evil”.

The University of Chicago professor developed radiocarbon dating in the late 1940s and won the 1960 Nobel Prize in chemistry for it.

Unfortunately, these practical tactics failed, and the practice's patients flocked to the midwives upstairs in droves.Correction: The original version of this post misstated the cause of inaccuracy in first-generation radiocarbon dating. It also linked to, and partially relied on, a website of dubious validity. Thus, as the radioactive carbon-14 in dead matter decays to the more plentiful isotope carbon-12, the proportion of C-14 to C-12 declines.Carbon-14 has a half-life of about 5,600 years, so measuring the proportion of C-14 that's still present in dead organic matter, and comparing it to the known proportion of C-14 in living matter, will indicate the age of the sample. Libby assumed the ratio of C-14 to C-12 was constant, but the enormous amount of old carbon (from coal, petroleum and other fossil fuels) unearthed since the Industrial Revolution has changed the ratio.

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