After schooling near Sebastopol, California, he entered the University of California at Berkeley, graduating in 1931, earning his doctorate in 1933, and teaching physical chemistry there until World War II.
Libby's most notable achievement, the method of radiocarbon dating, stemmed from the 1939 discovery that cosmic rays at about 10 miles' altitude interacted with air to give a relatively high density of neutrons.
One of the key characteristics of carbon is its ability to make long chains of molecules through linking up with other carbon atoms. It is a major element in many rock formations such as limestone and marble.
Carbon also has the highest melting point of all the elements. It is found in its allotropic forms of diamond, graphite, and amorphous carbon throughout the world. Carbon is used in some way in most every industry in the world.
It also has the highest thermal conductivity of any element. Graphite, on the other hand, is one of the softest materials and is black-gray in color. Amorphous carbon is generally black and is used to describe coal and soot.But at death carbon absorption stops and thereafter the specific radiocarbon content of the organic remains will steadily diminish with time.Accurate measurements should therefore establish the time that has elapsed since death; a new method of geological dating is thus provided.What methods do they use and how do these methods work?In this article, we will examine the methods by which scientists use radioactivity to determine the age of objects, most notably carbon-14 dating.