Radiocarbon dating is used to
At this stage, other negatively charged atoms are unstable and cannot reach the detector.
The negatively charged carbon atoms, however, move on to the stripper (a gas or a metal foil) where they lose the electrons and emerge as the triple, positively charged carbon atoms.
An accelerator mass spectrometer has a run time of a few hours per sample.
A method has finally been developed to detect carbon 14 in a given sample and ignore the more abundant isotopes that swamp the carbon 14 signal.At this stage, molecules that may be present are eliminated because they cannot exist in this triple charged state.The carbon atoms with triple positive charge further accelerate away from the positive terminal and pass through another set of focusing devices where mass analysis occurs.There are two accelerator systems commonly used for radiocarbon dating through accelerator mass spectrometry.One is the cyclotron, and the other is a tandem electrostatic accelerator.