Detecting Wine Fraud in the Nuclear Age |

Detecting Wine Fraud in the Nuclear Age

The crazy prices of top quality wines make for a lot of fraud in the wine industry, usually through mislabeled cases/bottles or diluted barrels. However, scientists have just come up with a fascinating method for determining a wine's vintage...

As grapes grow on the vine, they absorb natural carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (this is carbon 12 with 6 neutrons & 6 protons). However atmospheric bomb tests, which ended in 1963, injected a different type of carbon into the atmosphere-carbon 14 (which has 2 extra neutrons). Scientists can now measure the amount of carbon 14 that was present in the grape when it was harvested to determine the vintage of the wine.


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