Forensic applications of 14C bomb-pulse dating

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After a brief review of the basics of 14C bomb-pulse dating, this paper presents two unique forensic applications. Particular attention is dedicated to the use of the 14C bomb-pulse to establish the time of harvest of illicit drugs such as heroin and opium. Preliminary measurements of 14C concentrations in milligram samples taken from seized drugs are presented. 14C bomb-pulse dating can determine whether drug distribution originates from stockpiles or recent manufacture, and support the action of law enforcement authorities against criminal organisations involved in drug trafficking. In addition, we describe the dating of wine vintages for a number of authenticated single label vintage red wines from the Barossa Valley – South Australia. Our results show that radiocarbon dating can be used to accurately determine wine vintages and therefore reveal the addition of unrelated materials of natural and synthetic origin. © 2004 Elsevier B.V.
Carbon 14, Crime detection, Drugs, Heroin, Opium, Beverages, South Australia
Zoppi, U., Skopec, Z., Skopec, J., Jones, G., Fink, D., Hua, Q., Jacobsen, G., Tuniz, C. & Williams, A. (2004). Forensic applications of 14C bomb-pulse dating. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms, 223, 770-775. doi:10.1016/j.nimb.2004.04.143