Radiocarbon dating benefits

the field deflects atoms of different masses differently (heavier atoms deflect less).

Targets tuned to different atomic weights count the number of c12, c13, and c 14 atoms in a sample.

The objective of pre-treatment is to ensure that the carbon being analyzed is native to the sample submitted for dating.This discovery meant that there are three naturally occurring isotopes of carbon: Whereas carbon-12 and carbon-13 are stable isotopes, carbon-14 is unstable or radioactive.Carbon-14 is produced in the upper atmosphere when cosmic rays bombard nitrogen atoms.During the lifetime of an organism, the amount of c14 in the tissues remains at an equilibrium since the loss (through radioactive decay) is balanced by the gain (through uptake via photosynthesis or consumption of organically fixed carbon).However, when the organism dies, the amount of c14 declines such that the longer the time since death the lower the levels of c14 in organic tissue.The collagen fraction usually yields more reliable dates than the apatite fraction (see Dates on bones).

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