Mass spectrometry radioactive dating
Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) is a technique for measuring long-lived radionuclides that occur naturally in our environment.
AMS uses a particle accelerator in conjunction with ion sources, large magnets, and detectors to separate out interferences and count single atoms in the presence of 1x10 (a thousand million million) stable atoms.
An accelerator mass spectrometer measures the amounts of different isotopes within a sample.
For carbon dating, the process starts in an ionizing chamber, where the atoms within a sample of pure carbon are given a negative charge.
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