Professor Willard Libby has been selected to be the prize-winner for his method of age determination of materials of biological origin by use of carbon-14 as a measurer of time.
His method has obtained widespread use and has become indispensable in archaeology, geology, geophysics and other sciences.
Similar findings were made in Iraq, showing that people lived there 25,000 years ago.
This is just to mention a few of the age determinations which throw light on the prehistory of mankind.
Fortunately, it is so simple - which is probably not always the case with chemical research distinguished with the Nobel Prize - that everyone should be able to understand the conditions and principles for its execution.
Carbon-14 is a kind of carbon, an isotope of carbon with an atomic weight of 14, which is found in the carbon dioxide of the air.
The results he thus obtained from these control experiments left no doubts about the reliability of the method.
It was then used to solve problems met with by archaeologists and geologists.
Westgren, Chairman of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Your Majesty, Your Royal Highnesses, Ladies and Gentlemen.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences this year has decided to award with the Nobel Prize for Chemistry a scientific feat which is less a direct improvement of our material living standards, but more a means of widening and deepening our knowledge in different scientific fields.
In about one million million of these carbon atoms, there is only one which has an atomic weight of 14.