Plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and animals eat plants.
This means all living things have radioactive carbon-14 in them.
By comparing how much carbon-14 there is in the dead organism with the amount in a living one, the age of the dead organism can be estimated.
The half-life of uranium-238 is 4500 million years.
The amount of carbon-14 in the atmosphere has not changed in thousands of years.
Even though it decays into nitrogen, new carbon-14 is always being formed when cosmic rays hit atoms high in the atmosphere.
The original, and best known, application of AMS is radiocarbon dating, where you are trying to detect the rare isotope A nuclear particle accelerator consists essentially of two linear accelerators joined end-to-end, with the join section (called the terminal) charged to a very high positive potential (3 million volts or higher). Injecting negatively charged carbon ions from the material being analysed into a nuclear particle accelerator based on the electrostatic tandem accelerator principle. The negative ions are accelerated towards the positive potential.
At the terminal they pass through either a very thin carbon film or a tube filled with gas at low pressure (the stripper), depending on the particular accelerator.
Finally, after a series of radioactive isotopes are formed it becomes lead-206, which is stable.
We will deal with carbon dating first and then with the other dating methods.
Carbon has unique properties that are essential for life on Earth.
"[t]hose involved in radiocarbon dating should be alert to the various possible sources of error and recognize that the precision quoted on a date may be quite unrealistic if the error sources have not been investigated in detail." Next, answer the following questions in report form.
Be sure to turn in your report following the standard format for the class which is typed, double-spaced, 1" margins on each side, and 12 point Times New Roman font.