JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Graphitisation rig connectors used for preparing the graphite targets used in radiocarbon dating using an Accelerator Mass Spectrometer (AMS). These fittings hold the glass ampoules and tubes which collect the gaseous products of incineration of samples of the organic material being dated. The carbon, converted to carbon dioxide (CO2), is converted into graphite, used to determine the value of the carbon-14 isotope by an accelerator mass spectrometer. Evaluation of this figure and comparison with the proportion of carbon-12 present leads to a value indicating an age of the original sample. Photographed at the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, University of Oxford, UK.
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