He graduated in 1977 with a BSc Honours in Applied Physics from the University of Lancaster, and obtained an MSc in Medical Physics from the University of Leeds in 1987.
He is interested in various theoretical aspects of radiation and radiological physics, with an interest in mathematical modelling in general.
Let's look further at the technique behind the work that led to Libby being awarded a Nobel prize in 1960.
Carbon 14 (C-14) is a radioactive element that is found naturally, and a living organism will absorb C-14 and maintain a certain level of it in the body.
Exactly the same treatment can be applied to radioactive decay.
However, now the "thin slice" is an interval of time, and the dependent variable is the number of radioactive atoms present, N(t). If we have a sample of atoms, and we consider a time interval short enough that the population of atoms hasn't changed significantly through decay, then the proportion of atoms decaying in our short time interval will be proportional to the length of the interval.
Current research involves a theoretical description of X-ray beam spectra.
The nucleus of carbon 14 contains 6 protons and 8 neutrons, as opposed to the 6 and 6 found in ordinary carbon 12.The steps are the same as in the case of photon survival.On average, how much time will pass before a radioactive atom decays?Suppose a linen sample of 1 gram is analysed in a counter.The activity is measured at approximately 11.9 decays per minute.Similarly, in a population which grows exponentially with time there is the concept of "doubling time".