JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The final section of the accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS) in the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, for dating samples of organic material. In this section the beam of positively charged carbon ions which still contains carbon-12 and carbon-13 isotopes is separated by magnets and a Wien velocity filter so that only the carbon-14 ions reach the detector to be counted. This count is the basis for calculating the age of the original sample by comparison with the more stable carbon-12 and carbon 13 atoms.
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