Preparing a sample for radiocarbon dating

Preparing a sample for radiocarbon dating

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Credit: JAMES KING-HOLMES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Radiocarbon dating. A scientist taking a sample of shavings from a reindeer's bone for dating using radiocarbon techniques. This uses the ratio between the radioactive isotope carbon-14 (14C) and the stable carbon-12 (12C) isotope in a sample. The ratio of 14C to 12C in the sample may be related to the time since the death of the animal or plant being investigated. Convention states that 14C has a half-life of 5568 years (+/- 30 years), although this is now thought to be too short. Dates from the process are given either as radiocarbon dates, or as solar dates after various corrections have been made.

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Keywords: 14c dating, age determination, c14 dating, carbon dating, dating, palaeontology, paleontology, preparatio, radiocarbon, radiocarbon dating, radioisotope dating, reindeer tooth, sample preparat, sample preparation, technology

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