Machine used carbon dating
Due to the sensitivity of accelerator mass spectrometers, carbon dating small particles like blood particles, a grain, or a seed have been made possible.
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.
These two radiocarbon dating methods use modern standards such as oxalic acid and other reference materials.
Although both radiocarbon dating methods produce high-quality results, they are fundamentally different in principle.
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.
After pretreatment, samples for radiocarbon dating are prepared for use in an accelerator mass spectrometer by converting them into a solid graphite form.
This is done by conversion to carbon dioxide with subsequent graphitization in the presence of a metal catalyst.
There are two accelerator systems commonly used for radiocarbon dating through accelerator mass spectrometry.