Changes in dating over the decades

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For consistency with these early papers, and to avoid the risk of a double correction for the incorrect half-life, radiocarbon ages are still calculated using the incorrect half-life value.

Radiocarbon dating has allowed key transitions in prehistory to be dated, such as the end of the last ice age, and the beginning of the Neolithic and Bronze Age in different regions.

Libby and James Arnold proceeded to test the radiocarbon dating theory by analyzing samples with known ages.

For example, two samples taken from the tombs of two Egyptian kings, Zoser and Sneferu, independently dated to 2625 BC plus or minus 75 years, were dated by radiocarbon measurement to an average of 2800 BC plus or minus 250 years. Carbon dioxide produced in this way diffuses in the atmosphere, is dissolved in the ocean, and is taken up by plants via photosynthesis.

thus introduced takes a long time to percolate through the entire volume of the ocean.

The deepest parts of the ocean mix very slowly with the surface waters, and the mixing is uneven.

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