Radiometric dating of sediments
Burning the samples to convert them into graphite, however, also introduces other elements into the sample like nitrogen 14.When the samples have finally been converted into few milligrams of graphite, they are pressed on to a metal disc.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.There are two accelerator systems commonly used for radiocarbon dating through accelerator mass spectrometry.
A method has finally been developed to detect carbon 14 in a given sample and ignore the more abundant isotopes that swamp the carbon 14 signal.
Radiometric dating methods detect beta particles from the decay of carbon 14 atoms while accelerator mass spectrometers count the number of carbon 14 atoms present in the sample.
Both carbon dating methods have advantages and disadvantages.
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.
There are two techniques in measuring radiocarbon in samples—through radiometric dating and by Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS).