The following list shows the age measurements carried out at Saclay by the Service d'Electronique Physique, using the C14 method.
The apparatus employed was completed and calibrated in 1956 and the first tests were performed during the same year. The counting unit is a 1.2 L stainless steel proportional counter and the filling gas is pure CO2 at 74 cm Hg pressure. The shield consists of 20 cm of lead, 10 cm of iron, a coincidence ring and 2 cm of bismuth. The background is 4.86 ± 0.05 counts/min. (Error is ± σ, the duration of each counting being 24 hours.) Final purification is performed by adsorption of CO2 on alumina at low temperature, followed by desorption at room temperature; this has proved particularly effective and gives a very good filling gas. Technique was described in detail previously by the authors (Perquis, Delibrias, and David, 1956; Delibrias and Perquis, 1958).
As a modern carbon standard we first used wood taken from the 1930 to 1945 rings of a large Douglas fir; this standard gave a net count of 6.02 counts/min. This activity, taking into account a 2% Suess-effect for this wood, was found to be 95% of the activity of the NBS oxalic-acid standard, measured in the same counter.
The NBS standard has been adopted by this laboratory since January 1961, and values given here are calculated from this new standard.
Measurements listed are dates obtained from 1956 through 1962. No reports are given here from other types of measurements carried out at Saclay, such as: (1) C14 content of wild plants growing in the vicinity of nuclear reactors; (2) measurement of C14 in blood proteins of workers of the radioactive-tracers industry; (3) Spallation cross-sections for C14 production in oxygen and iron by high energy protons; (4) C14 content of meteorites.