Beta was founded in 1979 by Murry Tamers, Ph.D. (Yale University), D.Sc. (Universite’ de Paris Sorbonne) and Jerry Stipp, Ph.D. (Australian National University). They have both been instrumental in the development of radiocarbon dating methodology since 1959 and have published more than 100 papers on radiocarbon dating, geochronology, and hydrology. They formed Beta as a dedicated professional radiocarbon laboratory so that all members of the research community could routinely obtain accurate radiocarbon dates within a timely manner. Much of Dr. Tamers’ early work in the 1960s in carbonate correction of groundwater radiocarbon measurements remains applicable in present-day research.
Beta is co-directed by Darden Hood, President, and Dr. Murry Tamers, Chairman.
Radioactive carbon in naturally occurring materials was first identified in 1934 by researchers at Yale University. In 1940, at the University of Chicago, Willard Libby demonstrated its use for dating archaeological materials by measuring carbon 14 radioactive emissions from within them. Many researchers subsequently began exploring radiocarbon dating methods.
In 1961, Murry Tamers at Gif-sur-Yvette, in France, presented the liquid scintillation counting (LSC) radiocarbon dating method. This method overcame the problems of prior methods and, by 1970, was adopted as the conventional method for radiocarbon dating. Demand for radiocarbon dates rapidly exceeded the capacity of university laboratories. In 1979, Dr. Tamers co-founded Beta Analytic, a private, high-capacity LSC radiocarbon dating laboratory designed to meet the needs of the international research community.
Darden Hood joined Beta as a geochronologist in 1980 and has spent his career pioneering new methods and procedures for efficiently providing quality radiocarbon dates while maintaining a very high level of customer support. He appears routinely on the Discovery Channel, History Channel, and the BBC.
Mr. Hood has also testified before the EPA and consulted the USDA on applications of radiocarbon towards environmental concerns. He is respected worldwide as a leading expert in all aspects of radiocarbon analysis. He was the technical lead in the writing of ASTM D6866, which standardized the method of radiocarbon dating for use in the regulatory environment, specifically for the analysis of renewable carbon vs. fossil carbon content within man-made products.
Mr. Hood was also the administrative lead in the documentation of ASTM-D7459-08, which standardized the collection of CO2 from stationary emission sources to satisfy state and federal mandates for reporting carbon-neutral vs. fossil CO2 emissions. He is a noted member of ASTM, the Institute of Clean Air Companies, and the Source Emission Society where he has given numerous presentations on radiocarbon dating applications to environmental concerns.
Beta’s laboratory is managed by two deputy directors: Mr. Ronald Hatfield (with Beta since 1981) and Mr. Chris Patrick (with Beta since 1985). Both are professionals with extensive experience in all aspects of radiocarbon dating. They supervise a team of professional technicians and ensure quality control is maintained at all levels. They recognize each sample as invaluable, prescribe appropriate pretreatments and analytical methods to each sample, and consult with clients throughout the analyses.