For example, a team at Purdue University in Indiana was monitoring a lump of manganese-54 in a radiation detector box to measure the isotope’s half-life.At PM on December 12, 2006, the instruments recorded a sudden dip in radioactivity.But if the change is real, rather than an anomaly in the detector, it would challenge the entire concept of half-life and even force physicists to rewrite their nuclear physics textbooks (Ibid.).Because the decay rates in the two studies from the 1980s were altered by the seasons, physicists suspect that the sun was affecting the rates of decay, “possibly through some physical mechanism that had never before been observed” (Ibid.).Desmond Clark (1979) wrote that were it not for radiocarbon dating, "we would still be foundering in a sea of imprecisions sometime bred of inspired guesswork but more often of imaginative speculation" (Clark, 1979:7).Writing of the European Upper Palaeolithic, Movius (1960) concluded that "time alone is the lens that can throw it into focus".
Despite this skepticism, there is proof that this is true.As far back as the 1980s, a study of silicon-32 at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York State, and another study of radium-226 at the PTB, a scientific institute in Germany, made similar findings.Both studies were long-term, and, according to A change of less than a percent may not sound like a lot.Nyerup's words illustrate poignantly the critical power and importance of dating; to order time.Radiocarbon dating has been one of the most significant discoveries in 20th century science.Alburger was unaware that, at the exact same time, the German scientists at the PTB had found the same thing, with “yearly oscillations in a decay rate, in a 15-year experiment with radium-226” (Ibid.).