C-14 is produced in the upper atmosphere when nitrogen-14 (N-14) is altered through the effects of cosmic radiation bombardment (a proton is displaced by a neutron effectively changing the nitrogen atom into a carbon isotope).
The new isotope is called "radiocarbon" because it is radioactive, though it is not dangerous.
Carbon dating the Dead Sea Scrolls refers to a series of radiocarbon dating tests performed on the Dead Sea Scrolls, first by the AMS (Accelerator Mass Spectrometry) lab of the Zurich Institute of Technology in 1991 and then by the AMS Facility at the University of Arizona in Tucson in 1994-95.
There was also a historical test of a piece of linen performed in 1950 by Willard Libby, the inventor of the dating method.
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The development in the 1970s of new techniques for radio-carbon dating, which required much lower quantities of source material, prompted the Catholic Church to found the Shroud of Turin Research Project (S. Also present were Cardinal Ballestrero, four priests, archdiocese spokesperson Luigi Gonella, photographers, a camera operator, Michael Tite of the British Museum, and the labs' representatives.The following table shows all the Qumran-related samples that were tested by Zurich (Z), Tucson (T) and Libby (L).The column headed "14C Age" provides a raw age before 1950 for each sample tested.This calibrated range of dates is represented in the last column, given with a 2-sigma error rating, which means at 95% confidence.With the exception of the first text from Wadi-ed-Daliyeh, the texts in the table below are only those from the caves around Qumran.