Carbon 14 dating and chemistry lab

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Upon reaching the earth’s surface, a small percentage of carbon-14 containing carbon dioxide is taken up by plants and then incorporation into plant biomolecules via photosynthesis.

It becomes incorporated into the biomolecules of heterotrophic organisms (animals) via the food chain.

Typically (6): The above list is not exhaustive; most organic material is suitable so long as it is of sufficient age and has not mineralised - dinosaur bones are out as they no longer have any carbon left.

Stone and metal cannot be dated but pottery may be dated through surviving residue such as food particles or paint that uses organic material (8).

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AMS works slightly differently; it converts the atoms of the sample into fast-moving ions so that they become charged atoms.By applying magnetic and electrical fields, the mass of these ions is measured and the accelerator is used to remove ions that might contaminate the dating.The sample passes through several accelerators in order to remove as many atoms as possible until the C pass into the detector.The radiocarbon dating method is based on the fact that plant and animal tissue levels of carbon-14 remain relatively constant during life, but taper off at a predictable rate in surviving remains. Typically, traces of radiocarbon can be detected in organic remains up to 50,000 years old.date of organic material - but an approximate age, usually within a range of a few years either way.

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