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Dendrochronology and radiocarbon dating have intertwined histories, she explains, with roots firmly planted at the UA.
A 1929 edition of National Geographic boasts, "The Secret Of The Southwest Solved By Talkative Tree Rings." The 35-page article, penned in whimsical prose, was written by Andrew Douglass, the UA scientist who invented tree ring science. In addition to his work as an astronomer at the UA's Steward Observatory, Douglass was the first to discover that tree rings record time.
Most of the carbon in our world comes from long-dead stars, in the form of Carbon-12: carbon atoms containing six neutrons in their nucleus.In its most conventional form, dendrochronology works like this. They have no bias, and they have no political agenda; they just stand at locations all over the world," says Charlotte Pearson, an assistant professor of dendrochronology at the UA, studies samples under a microscope.A contemporary tree—that is, a tree that was either just cut down or still living—can tell you not just how many years it has lived, but which years in which it lived. Credit: credit: Mari Cleven But what if the wood is older?Radiocarbon dating provides the age of organic remains that overly glacial sediments. It was one of the earliest techniques to be developed, during the 1940s.
, and is so rare that only one-in-a-trillion carbon atoms are carbon-14.