Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What Do Dinosaurs And Plasma TVs Have In Common?

Besides movies of Jurassic Park, dinosaurs are sharing other things with the plasma TV. Scientists have been using carbon dating to determine how old a bone or inanimate object may be. This process has been proven to be very accurate. During life carbon is consumed up until the time of death. C14 is the element that is measured to determine the  age of the object. The old way to test C14 levels, required damaging the bone or aged material by washes and cleaning. This gave the scientist a more accurate reading.

In 2010,at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Anthropologists revealed a new method to carbon date objects with out disturbing the integrity of the object. The object is put in a special chamber with a plasma, an electrically charged gas similar to gases used in big-screen plasma television displays. The gas slowly and gently oxidizes the surface of the object to produce carbon dioxide for C-14 analysis without damaging the surface. This has been tested against the original method of carbon dating and it has shown to give the same results. My question is, how would anyone arrive at using the plasma to get that reaction, needed for this method? Read more at: The plasma method.

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