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Some of these figures are not accurately proven but since the ocean is the largest and is best known (5% error or better) the total is known to about 10%].Thus we expected to find this concentration of radiocarbon in living matter and the job was to test for it.

However, one illuminating starting point is the way Willard Libby helped to establish a favourable baseline of “natural” Carbon 14 radiation for his Radiocarbon Dating theory.The first man-made self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction was initiated in CP-1 on 2 December 1942, under the supervision of Enrico Fermi. Webb, a Kodak employee, studied the matter and concluded that the contamination must have come from a nuclear explosion somewhere in the United States.Fermi described the apparatus as “a crude pile of black bricks and wooden timbers.” Made of a large amount of graphite and uranium, with “control rods” of cadmium, indium, and silver, unlike most subsequent reactors, it had no radiation shield and no cooling system. He discounted the possibility that Little Boy was responsible due to the timing of the events.However, our major objective was to search for natural radiocarbon and thus to test whether the whole theoretical fabric was false in some way.The theoretical structure was in a sense simple – the cosmic rays make radiocarbon atoms at a steady rate of about 2 per square centimetre of area of the Earth per second and have been doing so for tens of millenia.

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