This radioactive carbon is continually formed when nitrogen atoms of the upper atmosphere collide with neutrons produced by the interaction of high-energy cosmic rays with the atmosphere. Beta particles are products of radiocarbon decay. For accelerator mass spectrometrysolid graphite targets are the most common, although gaseous CO 2 can also be used. Many labs now use an Accelerator Mass Spectrometer AMSa machine that can detect and measure the presence of different isotopes, to count the individual 14 C atoms in a sample. WikiJournal of Science. The resulting data, in the form of a calibration curve, is now used to convert a given measurement of radiocarbon in a sample into an estimate of the sample's calendar age.
How Does Carbon Dating Work
There are also cases when the association between the sample and the deposit is not apparent or easily understood.
Radiocarbon Dating and Archaeology
Using the same techniques to measure 14 C content, we can examine ocean circulation and trace the movement of drugs around the body. Light, electromagnetic radiation that can be detected by the human eye. Since the calibration curve IntCal also reports past atmospheric 14 C concentration using this conventional age, any conventional ages calibrated against the IntCal curve will produce a correct calibrated age.