Can carbon dating be faked
These tools are now also being introduced to find counterfeit drugs or check food products for pesticide content. (Read more)A sample ended up with a rare whisky specialist and was subjected to carbon dating tests, which established that the whisky was distilled almost a hundred years later than stated on the bottle making it an almost worthless fake.Question: "Is carbon dating a reliable method for determining the age of things?Italian nuclear physicists turned art detectives say they have discovered that a painting in the prestigious Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice is a fake.The art world's top experts and researchers have been trying to establish since the 1970s whether a painting believed to be part of the "Contraste de Formes" series produced by French artist Fernand Leger between 19 was genuine.When testing an object using radiocarbon dating, several factors have to be considered: First, carbon dating only works on matter that was once alive, and it only determines the approximate date of death for that sample.
Most archaeological items can’t be directly carbon dated, so their dating is based on testing done on nearby objects or materials.
" Answer: Carbon dating, or radiocarbon dating, like any other laboratory testing technique, can be extremely reliable, so long as all of the variables involved are controlled and understood.
Several factors affect radiocarbon test results, not all of which are easy to control objectively.
The results of the analysis — which revealed a much higher radiocarbon content than there would have been had the work been an original — are published in .
Pier Andrea Mando, head of the institute's Florence division, says it is "the first time radiocarbon dating has been used to reveal a forgery in contemporary art, by comparing levels of that isotope in the atmosphere during the bomb peak period." "After about forty years of doubt surrounding the authenticity of this painting, I am relieved that thanks to the application of innovative scientific techniques, the cloud of uncertainty has at last been lifted and Douglas Cooper's connoisseurship vindicated," says Philip Rylands, director of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.