The initials BP or bp and rarely B. While BP is also used generally as an imprecise estimate of an age of an object or event, the use of it in science was made necessary by the quirks of the radiocarbon methodology. Radiocarbon dating was invented in the late 's, and within a few decades, it was discovered that while the dates retrieved from the method have a sound, repeatable progression, they are not a one-to-one match with calendar years. Most importantly, researchers discovered that radiocarbon dates are affected by the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, which has fluctuated greatly in the past for both natural and human-caused reasons such as the invention of iron smelting , the Industrial Revolution , and the invention of the combustion engine.
The Reliability of Radiocarbon Dating
Oldest radiocarbon dated temperate hardwood tree in the world discovered in southern Italy
September 2, For a long time, majestic oaks have been considered a symbol of longevity, and this study proves that a millennium age horizon is attainable longevity in angiosperms growing at high-elevation belt in Mediterranean mountains of South Italy. Dating large old trees: a challenging task. Jordan Palli and Michele Baliva from Dendrology Lab, University of Tuscia, say: "The sampling was arduous for two reasons: Firstly, these ancient trees stand on steep, rocky slopes that are difficult to reach and to walk through.
Radiocarbon dating also referred to as carbon dating or carbon dating is a method for determining the age of an object containing organic material by using the properties of radiocarbon , a radioactive isotope of carbon. The method was developed in the late s at the University of Chicago by Willard Libby , who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in It is based on the fact that radiocarbon 14 C is constantly being created in the atmosphere by the interaction of cosmic rays with atmospheric nitrogen.
Three types of carbon occur naturally in living material: C12, C13 and C Carbon14 C14 is unstable and present in a very small percentage relative to the other components. The rate of decay or half-life of C14 was proven linear, allowing scientists to determine the approximate date of the expiration of a life form based on the amount of C14 remaining in the fossil.