Standard Article

Bomb-Pulse Dating

  1. Bruce A. Buchholz

Published Online: 15 SEP 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470061589.fsa606

Wiley Encyclopedia of Forensic Science

Wiley Encyclopedia of Forensic Science

How to Cite

Buchholz, B. A. 2009. Bomb-Pulse Dating. Wiley Encyclopedia of Forensic Science. .

Author Information

  1. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2009

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (23 DEC 2015)


Atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons during the 1950s and early 1960s doubled the concentration of carbon-14 atmosphere and created a pulse that labeled everything alive in the past 50 years as carbon moved up the food chain. The variation in carbon-14 concentration in time is well documented and can be used to chronologically date all biological materials since the mid-1950s.


  • radiocarbon;
  • bomb-pulse;
  • carbon-14;
  • dating;
  • isotope forensics