Carbon-14 Dating

  • Robert Bowen


A large number of radionuclides are produced in the terrestrial atmosphere as a result of nuclear reactions involving cosmic rays. These comprise very energetic radiation falling upon the Earth from outer space and consisting mainly of charged particles of which the majority are probably protons, although alpha particles and electrons are also present. There is some evidence that approximately 2% of the primary radiation consists of heavy atomic nuclei. Cosmic rays originate from the Sun as well as from galactic sources. Their flux depends upon the kinetic energies of their components which may be as great as 102 GeV (1 GeV = 109 eV); it appears that about half of the flux has a value between 0·5 and 5 GeV.


Tree Ring Isotope Fractionation Radiocarbon Date Proton Flux Precipitate Calcium Carbonate 
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

© Chapman & Hall 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Bowen
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Geology and PalaeontologyWestfälishche Wilhelms-UniversityMünsterFederal Republic of Germany

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