After the organism dies, the carbon-14 decays in a predictable way.
By measuring the ratio of carbon-14 to stable carbon-12, scientists can then determine when the organism in question died.
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He attended Yale University and taught at the University of Alaska (1935-1942), specializing in Alaskan prehistory…. Later he worked as an archaeologist at the University of Pennsylvania, eventually becoming director of the University of Pennsylvania Museum.
He hosted the popular television show, “What in the World?
While organisms live, they incorporate radioactive carbon-14 from the atmosphere.
The same applies to marine organisms, although with some well-understood subtleties.
This accomplishment was strategically initiated by Willard Libby when he asked for mainstream assistance with the validation of his pioneering Radiocarbon Dating technique. ’ We worried about this a great deal and finally decided there was nothing for it but to enlist the aid of recognized experts to advise us and acquire the materials for us. Libby Department of Chemistry and Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California, Los Angeles
He was a physical chemist as were both Dr Anderson and I, but his father, a lawyer, was an enthusiastic amateur archaeologist and this brought him to us in the proper mood.
Libby’s theory was rooted in the principal that all living things are composed of carbon.
The American chemist Willard Frank Libby (1908-1980) pioneered in radiocarbon dating, for which he received the Nobel Prize.
Willard F Libby’s research, leading to the discovery of radiocarbon dating, was principally carried out at the University of Chicago after World War II with his main collaborators, E C Anderson and J R Arnold.
At the behest of Libby, A V Grosse and his collaborators at the Houdry Process Corporation demonstrated the existence of radiocarbon in nature by concentrating the isotope from a source of biogenic methane.
It has successfully determined the age of artifacts up to 50,000 years ago.