Groningen radiocarbon dating laboratory

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In just the past 10 years over 25,000 samples have been measured from clients in New Zealand and throughout the world.

As well as the AMS facility, the Rafter Radiocarbon Laboratory operates a modern, well equipped sample processing laboratory.

On its completion he was appointed head of the Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, which he ran from 1961 to 1967.

He then returned to South Africa to establish the Natural Isotope Division in the National Physical Research Laboratory of the CSIR.

It was in this firmament of hope compounded by confusion that rewarding careers began and lifelong friendships were forged.

Generally speaking, it was the sounder and more confident heads in the community who sought grants to start the early Radiocarbon Laboratories.

In many ways the era was analogous to today's computer explosion where fortune favours the young and the brave.

One may detect the deliberate use of the word 'build', and not 'operate' for, as we shall see, few had discovered the magic formula for making it work.

It was customary to then prevail on some well known physics or chemistry professor to supply the technical expertise, and he in turn would select some unsuspecting graduate student to build it.

Graduate students were among the few at that time who could even spell the magic words 'nucleonics', 'electronics' and 'vacuum lines' born of hush-hush wartime technologies.

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