Early History of Carbon-14

  • Martin D. Kamen

Abstract

When, how, and why was carbon-14 discovered ? As T. S. Kuhn has remarked [1], discovery is seldom a single event that can be attributed wholly to a particular individual, time, or place. He notes that some discoveries, such as those of the neutrino, radio waves, and missing isotopes or elements, are predictable and present few problems as far as establishment of priority is concerned. Others, such as the discoveries of oxygen, x rays, and the electron, are unpredictable. These put the historian in a “bind” when he tries to decide when, how, where, and by whom the discovery was made. Much more rarely does he have a basis for an answer to the question “Why?”

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Copyright information

© New England Nuclear Corporation 1965

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin D. Kamen
    • 1
  1. 1.The First CollegeUniversity of CaliforniaLa JollaUSA

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