Principles of radiometric dating

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An accelerator mass spectrometer has a run time of a few hours per sample.

Lastly, it must be noted that AMS measurements usually achieve higher precision and lower backgrounds than radiometric dating methods.

Reference materials are also pressed on metal discs.

These metal discs are then mounted on a target wheel so they can be analyzed in sequence.

An accelerator mass spectrometer, although a powerful tool, is also a costly one.

The negatively charged carbon atoms, however, move on to the stripper (a gas or a metal foil) where they lose the electrons and emerge as the triple, positively charged carbon atoms.

There are essentially two parts in the process of radiocarbon dating through accelerator mass spectrometry.

The first part involves accelerating the ions to extraordinarily high kinetic energies, and the subsequent step involves mass analysis.

At this stage, molecules that may be present are eliminated because they cannot exist in this triple charged state.

The carbon atoms with triple positive charge further accelerate away from the positive terminal and pass through another set of focusing devices where mass analysis occurs.

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