Libby later received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1960 for the radiocarbon discovery.
Today, there are over 130 radiocarbon dating laboratories around the world producing radiocarbon dates for the scientific community.
It is called 'radio'-carbon, because it is 'radioactive'.
The radiocarbon method was developed by a team of scientists led by the late Professor Willard F.
Libby of the University of Chicago after the end of World War 2.
Eventually, a particle is emitted from the carbon 14 atom, and carbon 14 disappears.
Most of the carbon on Earth exists in a slightly different atomic form, although it is chemically speaking, identical to all carbon.
The job of a radiocarbon laboratory is to measure the remaining amounts of radiocarbon in a carbon sample.
This is very difficult and requires a lot of careful work to produce reliable dates.The relative dating method worked very well, but only in sites which were had a connection to the relative scale. When radiocarbon dating was developed, it revolutionised archaeology, because it enabled them to more confidently date the past, and to build a more accurate picture of the human past.The archaeologist Colin Renfrew (1973) called it the development of this dating method 'the radiocarbon revolution' in describing its great impact upon the human sciences.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.After twice that time (about 11000 years), another half of that remaining amount will have disappeared.