The C14 method has been and continues to be applied and used in many, many different fields including hydrology, atmospheric science, oceanography, geology, palaeoclimatology, archaeology and biomedicine.All plants and animals on Earth are made principally of carbon.Libby later received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1960 for the radiocarbon discovery.
He and two students first measured the "half-life" of radiocarbon.
In the 1940s, scientists succeeded in finding out how long it takes for radiocarbon to disappear, or decay, from a sample of carbon from a dead plant or animal.
Willard Libby, the principal scientist, had worked in the team making the nuclear bomb during World War 2, so he was an expert in nuclear and atomic chemistry.
It is called 'radio'-carbon, because it is 'radioactive'.
This means that its atomic structure is not stable and there is an uneasy relationship between the particles in the nucleus of the atom itself.
The job of a radiocarbon laboratory is to measure the remaining amounts of radiocarbon in a carbon sample.