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.
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.
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.