Carbon dating art forgery
Since atmospheric carbon 14 arises at about the same rate that the atom decays, the Earth's levels of carbon 14 have remained constant.In living organisms, which are always taking in carbon, the levels of carbon 14 likewise stay constant.Most carbon atoms have six protons and six neutrons in their nuclei and are called carbon 12. But a tiny percentage of carbon is made of carbon 14, or radiocarbon, which has six protons and eight neutrons and is not stable: half of any sample of it decays into other atoms after 5,700 years.Carbon 14 is continually being created in the Earth's atmosphere by the interaction of nitrogen and gamma rays from outer space.Sometimes they’re “fired” by God, who has been known to dismiss them from this mortal coil.On other occasions, Satan – through one of his secret societies infesting the Vatican – slips the Pontiff one of those patented papal poisons. Robert Moynihan, editor of magazine, is no conspiracy theorist.Roman sculptors produced copies of Greek sculptures.Presumably the contemporary buyers knew that they were not genuine.
Following the Renaissance, a redistribution of the world’s wealth created a fierce demand for art by a newly prosperous middle class.
But a series of nuclear bomb tests in the 1950s and 1960s spiked this normally consistent ratio.
"After 1955 the level of radiocarbon in the atmosphere, and thus in living organisms, almost doubled in about 10 years," Pier Andrea Mandò, head of the Florence division of the INFN, explained in a statement.
The team used a particle accelerator to measure the concentration of carbon 14 (an isotope of carbon that has more neutrons than normal carbon 12) in the fabric, which would in turn allow them to determine when the canvas was produced, or more specifically, when the cotton was cut to make the canvas.
Carbon 14 is a radioactive variation of carbon, and because plants pick up both types through photosynthesis, all living organisms — cotton plants included — have the same ratio of carbon 14 to stable carbon as the atmosphere.