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    We identify these patterns by looking at the activity of millions of web users throughout the world, and using data normalization to correct for any biases.

    Carbon 14 dating procedure

    Now, new applications for the technique are emerging in forensics, thanks to research funded by NIJ and other organizations.In recent years, forensic scientists have started to apply carbon-14 dating to cases in which law enforcement agencies hope to find out the age of a skeleton or other unidentified human remains.The method is known as bomb pulse dating and owes its efficacy to the large amount of $^$C that entered the atmosphere as a result of the testing of nuclear weapons.The $^$C atmospheric abundance peaked in the early to mid-1960s at around twice the longer-term average and has since declined pseudo-exponentially with an e-folding time of around 15 years.From the wikipedia article I referenced, it looks like there are some (smaller) geographic variations too.

    However, if I interpret the plot above correctly, because the natural $^$C abundance was decreasing between 15 (and perhaps before this too?

    I also understand the concerns with carbon-14 dating regarding the impact of fossil fuels / atomic activity in recent dating attempts.

    I also am aware of new carbon contamination when sampling.

    A review article by Grimm (2008) discusses this technique and gives examples of how it has been used to date biological specimens from the 1980s and have enabled estimates of birth dates for corpses by looking at the $^$C content of tooth enamel.

    The article points out though, that because of the gradual reduction in $^$C back towards its "natural" level, that this technique will not work much beyond 2020.

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