New method could revolutionize dating of Turin shroud
Called "non-destructive carbon dating," the method basically prevents the removal of a sample of the object.
"It expands the possibility for analyzing museum collections that have previously been off limits because of their rarity or intrinsic value," Marvin Rowe, professor emeritus at Texas A&M University College Station, said.
Conventional carbon dating estimates the age of an artifact based on the decay rate of the radioactive isotope carbon-14, a variant of carbon that is incorporated in all living organisms.
Any material of plant or animal origin, including textiles, wood, bones and leather, can be dated by its content of carbon-14. Scientists remove a small sample from an object, treat the sample with a strong acid and a strong base, and finally burn it in a small glass chamber to produce carbon dioxide gas.
Comparing the carbon-14 levels in the object to those expected in the atmosphere for a particular period in history allows scientists to estimate the age of an artifact.
Rowe's new method eliminates the destructive steps of sampling, acid-base washes and burning. The object is simply placed in a special chamber with a plasma, an electrically charged gas similar to those used in big-screen plasma television displays. The gas slowly and gently oxidizes the surface of the object without damaging it to produce carbon dioxide for carbon-14 analysis.
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Post ID#17548 - replied 4/1/2010 9:45 AM
Post ID#17550 - replied 4/1/2010 11:05 AM
Now we can test the Voynich Manuscript and find out when it was really written. Was it really Roger Bacon's work?
Images of the book contents
Post ID#17553 - replied 4/2/2010 8:07 AM