Libby had first started using the dating method in 1946 and the early testing required relatively large samples, so testing on scrolls themselves only became feasible when methods used in the dating process were improved upon. Davies made a request to date a number of scrolls, which led to a series of tests carried out in Zurich on samples from fourteen scrolls.
Among these were samples from other sites around the Dead Sea, which contained date indications within the text to supply a control for the carbon dating results.
What’s ironic here, is that while it may seem like zealous editors can make sweeping changes easily, wikipedia is structured for transparency.
C-14 is produced in the upper atmosphere when nitrogen-14 (N-14) is altered through the effects of cosmic radiation bombardment (a proton is displaced by a neutron effectively changing the nitrogen atom into a carbon isotope).
The new isotope is called "radiocarbon" because it is radioactive, though it is not dangerous.
This is how carbon dating works: Carbon is a naturally abundant element found in the atmosphere, in the earth, in the oceans, and in every living creature.
C-12 is by far the most common isotope, while only about one in a trillion carbon atoms is C-14.
Carbon dating the Dead Sea Scrolls refers to a series of radiocarbon dating tests performed on the Dead Sea Scrolls, first by the AMS (Accelerator Mass Spectrometry) lab of the Zurich Institute of Technology in 1991 and then by the AMS Facility at the University of Arizona in Tucson in 1994-95.
There was also a historical test of a piece of linen performed in 1950 by Willard Libby, the inventor of the dating method.
Susan is the organizer of the Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia group (facebook), arguably one of the most influential skeptical programs out there.
She personally trains science-minded people to become wikipedia editors, and they put in a lot of volunteer hours.
It is naturally unstable and so it will spontaneously decay back into N-14 after a period of time.