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An accelerator mass spectrometer, although a powerful tool, is also a costly one.
Establishing and maintaining an accelerator mass spectrometer costs millions of dollars.
At the end of an AMS run, data gathered is not only the number of carbon 14 atoms in the sample but also the quantity of carbon 12 and carbon 13.Due to the sensitivity of accelerator mass spectrometers, carbon dating small particles like blood particles, a grain, or a seed have been made possible.Accelerator mass spectrometry also takes less time to analyze samples for carbon 14 content compared to radiometric dating methods that can take one or two days.In mass analysis, a magnetic field is applied to these moving charged particles, which causes the particles to deflect from the path they are traveling.If the charged particles have the same velocity but different masses, as in the case of the carbon isotopes, the heavier particles are deflected least.
After pretreatment, samples for radiocarbon dating are prepared for use in an accelerator mass spectrometer by converting them into a solid graphite form.