# Radiocarbon dating is used for estimating the ages of

In 1977, as already mentioned, two papers (Nelson et al., 1977 and Bennett et al., 1977) were published simultaneously in Science, reporting on the development of such a method, which added a particle accelerator into the mass spectrometer to produce an accelerator mass spectrometer.

This technique has allowed the measurement of radiocarbon in samples of much less than a milligram, or more than a thousand times less material than is needed for the older counting methods.

C produced in the atmosphere were always the same, then we could calculate a "radiocarbon age" using the equation we have discussed directly as an estimate of sample age. This was recognized soon after Libby published his first Curve of Knowns (Arnold and Libby, 1949).

More recently, we have learned that short-term changes in C in the atmosphere can be signals of climatic changes.

Because of the effects, we need to calibrate the radiocarbon age against something of known age.

These two standards were measured by many different laboratories to determine the value of the standards relative to "modern." Because the production rate of C is not a constant, we need to make corrections for this effect, as discussed in the following sections.

The first attempt to use radiocarbon for dating was the work of Libby and his co-workers, 50 years ago, using counting of the decays of the radioactive isotope.

Research Scientist at the NSF Arizona AMS Facility and Department of Geosciences at the University of Arizona, in Tucson, Ariz. Its primary use is for radiocarbon dating of small samples of carbon, although many measurements have also been made on the longer-lived radionuclides such as I, which have applications to geology and marine studies.

This article is reproduced from Nuclear News, June 19998, and is based on a paper presented at the ANS Winter Meeting, held November 16-20, 1997, in Albuquerquete N. AMS has become an accurate and precise method for dating many types of materials - including such interesting items as the Shroud of Turin and the Dead Sea Scrolls, which will be discussed later—where only a small sample can be spared.

Fluctuations in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can also affect the concentration of . 2, which shows the increasingly large difference between radiocarbon and true age from 7000 to 15000 years BP.

This deviation is much smaller less than 7000 years ago.

In the 1950s, gas-counting methods were perfected, and later, liquid scintillation counting has also been used, as we will discuss later.

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