Beta Analytic – Biobased Content Testing Lab

Beta Analytic Inc., located in Miami, Florida, was founded in 1979 with a commitment to meet the demand of radiocarbon dating with rapid delivery and responsiveness to customer needs. Rapid delivery of results was essential to the then emerging contract archaeology industry. The now mature Cultural Resource Management industry continues to rely heavily on Beta Analytic for its radiocarbon dating needs.

Enactment of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 attracted Beta’s managers in a similar fashion as the Archaeological Resource Protection Act of 1979. The 2002 bill specifically requires federal procurement agencies to purchase products with the highest biobased content. Since biobased content is a measure of present-day carbon vs. fossil carbon, only a minor modification in the final calculations was required to turn a “radiocarbon date” into a “biobased content certification.” With Beta Analytic’s expertise already in place, it was well positioned to immediately provide a reliable resource to the emerging biobased manufacturing industry.

High-Quality Biobased Testing Services

In 2003, under the direction of the USDA, the CIRAS facility at Iowa State University undertook a program to test Beta Analytic’s capabilities (as well as many other laboratories). By June of 2004, Beta Analytic had analyzed over 200 biobased products under controlled test conditions delivering all results within 1 to 3 weeks. Results confirmed the viability of radiocarbon dating for biobased content certification and the commercial capabilities of Beta Analytic to provide a reliable service.

In 2008, the company was awarded the ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accreditation by Perry Johnson Laboratory Accreditation, boosting its reputation as a highly competent and reliable testing laboratory.

Today, Beta Analytic is the world’s largest radiocarbon dating and biobased content testing laboratory. Its devotion to accuracy, dependability, and confidentiality is the foundation upon which its colleagues’ faith and trust is built.

Beta Analytic’s Founders and Management

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.

Murry Tamers, Ph.D. – Co-founder

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.

Lab Managers

Beta President Mr. Ronald Hatfield and Vice President of Laboratory Operations Mr. Chris Patrick manage the laboratory. 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.

Mr. Hatfield joined Beta Analytic in 1983. Mr. Patrick has been with Beta Analytic since 1985.