Radiocarbon Dating and Analysis

Faculteit Science and Engineering
Jaar 2021/22
Vakcode WMEE013-05
Vaknaam Radiocarbon Dating and Analysis
Niveau(s) master
Voertaal Engels
Periode semester II b

Uitgebreide vaknaam Radiocarbon Dating and Analysis
Leerdoelen At the end of the course, the student is able to:
1. Describe the production and distribution of radiocarbon (14C) and other key cosmogenic isotopes
2. Explain how cosmogenic isotopes provide insights into the cosmic radiation history of the Earth
3. Explain the principles and practice of the 14C dating method for palaeoenvironmental and archaeological research and compare its benefits and limitations with other chronometric techniques
4. Describe the impact of the atmospheric nuclear bomb tests and fossil fuel emissions on 14C analysis
5. Give a detailed account of 14C measurement via radiometry and accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS)
6. Produce Bayesian statistical models for the refinement of 14C data
Omschrijving In this course, we will examine the field of radiocarbon-based research. Detection and measurement of the cosmogenic isotope radiocarbon underpins the most widely used chronometric tool currently available, facilitates much carbon cycle analysis, and enables the detection of past cosmic radiation impacts on Earth. This course covers the principles of the dating method, accelerator mass spectrometry, and the varied uses of radiocarbon in both current and palaeoenvironmental research, as well as forensic and historical analysis. In addition, we will examine Bayesian approaches to chronological modelling using the software OxCal. Students will also delve more deeply into one specific aspect of current research and draw conclusions about its future potential.
Uren per week
Onderwijsvorm Hoorcollege (LC), Opdracht (ASM), Practisch werk (PRC)
(Lectures (32 h, mix of traditional lectures, workshops and laboratory visits), Assignment 1 (20 h), Assignment 2 (60 h), Practical work (4 h), Self study (24 h).)
Toetsvorm Mondeling tentamen (OR), Opdracht (AST)
(Final mark: Oral exam (25%), Assignment 1 (25%, A compulsory Bayesian chronological modelling assignment will be set. Students will reanalyse a published data sets), Assignment 2 (50%, An article-length review of one aspect of current radiocarbon research))
Vaksoort master
Coördinator prof. dr. M.W. Dee
Docent(en) prof. dr. M.W. Dee ,dr. S.W.L. Palstra , D. Paul, PhD.
Verplichte literatuur
Titel Auteur ISBN Prijs

Entreevoorwaarden Maximum capacity: 25 students.
Students wishing to take this Master's Elective are advised to have completed a Bachelor's degree in either Physics, Chemistry, Earth or Environmental Science.
This course prepares for master's projects in 2nd year.
Opmerkingen Pass mark:
The total of Assignment 1 (25%) + Assignment 2 (50%) + Oral Exam (25%) will be normalised as a mark out of 10. Pass mark is 5.5. Each component must be completed in order to pass.

Parts of the course are mandatory:
1. Timely submission of Reports for Assignments 1 & 2 (10% reduction per day late). 2. Attendance and contribution blended lectures. 3. 0% for no-show at Oral Exam.

The second examiner for this course is prof. dr. H.A.J. Meijer.
Assessment procedures (rubrics) for the Assignments will be checked by at least two examiners. At least two examiners will be present at, and contribute to the assessment of, the Oral Exam. Grades for all Assignments and Exams, will be checked by at least two examiners.

In case the assessment has to take place online, the oral exam will be adjusted to an online oral exam from home.

This course was registered last year with course code WMPH18001
Opgenomen in
Opleiding Jaar Periode Type
MSc Courses for Exchange Students: Astronomy - Physics - Energy & Environment - semester II b
MSc Energy and Environmental Sciences  (Electives) 1 semester II b keuze