Radiocarbon dating after 1950 backdating and spring loading
Radiocarbon dating can be a useful tool in police investigations when combined with other forensic information.
However, when the organism dies, the amount of c14 declines such that the longer the time since death the lower the levels of c14 in organic tissue. Since carbon is fundamental to life, occurring along with hydrogen in all organic compounds, the detection of such an isotope might form the basis for a method to establish the age of ancient materials. Libby, a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Chicago, predicted that a radioactive isotope of carbon, known as carbon-14, would be found to occur in nature.Working with several collaboraters, Libby established the natural occurrence of radiocarbon by detecting its radioactivity in methane from the Baltimore sewer.In contrast, methane made from petroleum products had no measurable radioactivity.
Around that same time, governments began widespread atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons.