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The Early Radiocarbon Years: Personal Reflections

  • Hans E. Suess

Abstract

In 1949, Harrison Brown arranged an invitation for me to spend a limited time at the Institute for Nuclear Studies at the University of Chicago. I considered myself most fortunate to be invited to this institute, not only because of the large number of Nobel laureates working there, but also because Willard Libby had just developed a method for age determinations on wood and other substances which are formed by photosynthesis from atmospheric CO2 and water. Libby’s method made it possible to obtain well-defined values for the time elapsed since the respective organic substance had formed. It seemed obvious to me that, by concentrating on this method, rather spectacular results in a variety of fields could be obtained. In 1950, soon after my arrival in Chicago from Europe, I had seen Willard Libby (called Bill by his colleagues) at the Institute, walking along the corridor. One day I approached him bravely and asked him if I could see him in his office and talk about his 14C dating method. Libby nodded, pulled out a notebook, “Next week, Tuesday, three in the afternoon,” he said, and without waiting for an answer, walked away.

Keywords

Tree Ring Cupric Oxide Walk Away Radiocarbon Measurement Glacial Moraine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans E. Suess

There are no affiliations available

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