Method of carbon 14 dating
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.
Exponential Decay Formula: A = A" is the original amount of the radioactive isotope that is measured in the same units as "A." The value "t" is the time it takes to reduce the original amount of the isotope to the present amount, and "k" is the half-life of the isotope, measured in the same units as "t." The applet allows you to choose the C-14 to C-12 ratio, then calculates the age of our skull from the formula above.
There are two techniques in measuring radiocarbon in samples—through radiometric dating and by Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS).
Measurements have shown that in recent history, radiocarbon levels have remained relatively constant in most of the biosphere due to the metabolic processes in living organisms and the relatively rapid turnover of carbonates in surface ocean waters.
The method was developed immediately following World War II by Willard F.
Libby and coworkers and has provided age determinations in archeology, geology, geophysics, and other branches of science.
Radiation counters are used to detect the electrons given off by decaying C-14 as it turns into nitrogen.
The amount of C-14 is compared to the amount of C-12, the stable form of carbon, to determine how much radiocarbon has decayed, thereby dating the artifact.
They, however, do not have the sensitivity to distinguish atomic isobars (atoms of different elements that have the same atomic weight, such as in the case of carbon 14 and nitrogen 14—the most common isotope of nitrogen).