Libby's system uses chemical analysis to determine the age of organic materials based on carbon-14 content.To measure carbon-14 in ancient materials, Libby and his team spent about three years, 1946-49, developing extremely sensitive Geiger counters, which needed to be extremely well-shielded to eliminate interference from background radiation. 1949) High School: Analy High School, Sebastopol, CA (1926) University: BS Chemistry, University of California at Berkeley (1931) University: Ph D Chemistry, University of California at Berkeley (1933) Teacher: Chemistry, University of California at Berkeley (1933-41) Scholar: Chemistry, Princeton University (1941) Scholar: Manhattan Project, Columbia University Professor: Chemistry, Fermi Institute for Nuclear Studies, University of Chicago (1945-54) Professor: Chemistry, University of California at Los Angeles (1959-76) Administrator: Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, UCLA (1962-76) Alpha Chi Sigma Chemistry Fraternity 1941 Guggenheim Fellowship 1941 Manhattan Project 1941-45 National Academy of Sciences 1950 Guggenheim Fellowship 1951 Foreign Member, 1960 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Editorial Board, 1960-76 Arthur L.He was employed at Caltech's Division of Geological & Planetary Sciences at the time of writing the first edition.He is presently employed in the Space & Atmospheric Sciences Group at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. General references Links to other useful sites BACK TO HOME PAGE HOW DOES THERMOLUMINESCENCE DATING WORK?In all, close to two dozen physical quantities must be accurately measured to establish the relationship between doses of different kinds of radiation and light output, and to compute dose rate.
Libby won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1960, for introducing a dating methodology using radioactive carbon-14, a long-lived, natural beta-emitting radioisotope emitted in minute quantities by all living things.
The age of the pottery, in principle, may then be determined by the relation Age = Accumulated dose / Dose per year Although conceptually straightforward, TL has proven to to be far from simple in practice.
Should I be concerned about artificial irradiation? If the radioactivity of the pottery itself, and its surroundings, is measured, the dose rate, or annual increment of dose, may be computed.
It is an absolute dating method, and does not depend on comparison with similar objects (as does obsidian hydration dating, for example).
The thermoluminescence technique is the only physical means of determining the absolute age of pottery presently available.