Letter | Published:

Possible use of 41Ca for radioactive dating

Naturevolume 277pages4244 (1979) | Download Citation



A LARGE number of cosmogenic isotopes have been suggested for use in radiometric dating1. One which has not received much attention is 41Ca (half life t1/2= 1.3 × 105 yr (ref. 2)). This is probably due to its small expected concentration in natural samples and the difficulty in detecting its pure electron capture decay. On the other hand, the importance of calcium in many geochemical and biochemical cycles ensures that any method of dating this element would have widespread application. Recent important developments in the detection of radioisotopes using accelerators have motivated us to look at this question. We show here that use of 41Ca as a dating tool may indeed be feasible.

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  1. Laboratoire René Bernas, Centre de Spectrométrie Nucléaire et de Spectrométrie de Masse, 91406, Orsay, France

    • G. M. RAISBECK
    •  & F. YIOU


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