Ink dating accuracy

Results show that it is possible to determine the relative age of entries written by ballpoint pen within a relatively short time scale, if storage and supporting material of the different samples are the same or at least similar.

Imagine a large swimming pool into which one drop of red ink falls each year.

Before the flood, all that normal carbon, produced by forests, greatly diluted the carbon-14 that was steadily being added to the biosphere.

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Radiocarbon dating requires knowing the ratio of carbon-14 to carbon-12 in the atmosphere when the organic matter being dated was part of a living organism.To answer these questions, the document was examined for latent elements by electrostatic detection device (ESDA).The relative dating of the entries was performed by the quantification of the ballpoint pen ink dyes and their degradation products using HPLC.In this paper we describe a case in which a cash book, dated of the year 2000, was sent to the Forensic Science Division, Document Laboratory, Zurich Canton Police in March 2003.The questioned document was a list of 29 pages containing a consecutive handwritten numbering and dated entries (payments) made of blue ballpoint pen ink.One day, about 5,000 years ago, most of the water suddenly drained from the pool.Since then, the amount of water only fills a bathtub, but one drop of red ink continued to fall into the bathtub each year.The assumption (shown in red), which few realize is being made, is that this ratio has always been what it was before the Industrial Revolution—about one carbon-14 atom for every trillion carbon-12 atoms.Willard Libby, who received a Nobel Prize for developing this technique, conducted tests in 1950 that showed more carbon-14 forming than decaying.Because about half of today’s surface water was in the subterranean chamber before the flood, there was more forested land area before the flood.Most of the carbon in the vast preflood forests is now our coal and oil deposits.