JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A researcher in archeological chemistry in a lab at the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit loads a sample for extraction using supercritical carbon dioxide as an extraction agent to remove contamination. To position the small sample at an optimum point within the holding cylinder the scientist uses a beaker to add glass beads above and below the sample. In the sensitive technique of radiocarbon dating organic samples any impurities may affect the results and use of the supercritical CO2, which exhibits properties of both a gas and a liquid, is hoped to lead to improvements in accuracy. Photographed at the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, University of Oxford, UK.
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