Book ID: CBB824180030

Hot Carbon: Carbon-14 and a Revolution in Science (2019)

unapi

Marra, John F. (Author)


Columbia University Press


Publication Date: 2019
Physical Details: 427
Language: English

There are few fields of science that carbon-14 has not touched. A radioactive isotope of carbon, it stands out for its unusually long half-life. Best known for its application to estimating the age of artifacts—carbon dating—carbon-14 helped reveal new chronologies of human civilization and geological time. Everything containing carbon, the basis of all life, could be placed in time according to the clock of radioactive decay, with research applications ranging from archeology to oceanography to climatology.In Hot Carbon, John F. Marra tells the untold story of this scientific revolution. He weaves together the workings of the many disciplines that employ carbon-14 with gripping tales of the individuals who pioneered its possibilities. He describes the concrete applications of carbon-14 to the study of all the stuff of life on earth, from climate science’s understanding of change over time to his own work on oceanic photosynthesis with microscopic phytoplankton. Marra’s engaging narrative encompasses nuclear testing, the peopling of the Americas, elephant poaching, and the flax plants used for the linen in the Shroud of Turin. Combining colorful narrative prose with accessible explanations of fundamental science, Hot Carbon is a thought-provoking exploration of how the power of carbon-14 informs our relationship to the past.

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Reviewed By

Review Seth C. Rasmussen (2020) Review of "Hot Carbon: Carbon-14 and a Revolution in Science". Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences (pp. 900-901). unapi

Citation URI
http://data.isiscb.org/isis/citation/CBB824180030/

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Authors & Contributors
Dry, Sarah
Zhang, Jiuchen
Hulme, Mike
Morgan, Ruth A.
Bashford, Alison
Livingstone, David N.
Journals
Australian Historical Studies
Studies in Dialectics of Nature
Science as Culture
Bulletin of the History of Medicine
Nature
Perspectives on Science
Publishers
University of Chicago Press
Rowman & Littlefield
University of North Carolina Press
New School University
University of California, Davis
Yale University Press
Concepts
Climate and climatology
Climate change
Environmental history
Geology
Disasters; catastrophes
Weather
People
Callendar, Guy Stewart
Gore, Albert
Kröpelin, Stefan
Time Periods
21st century
20th century
19th century
Modern
18th century
Prehistory
Places
Africa
Australia
Japan
United States
China
Sahara
Institutions
National Weather Service (U.S.)
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