JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Preparation of samples of collagen, taken from bone which has been submitted for radiocarbon dating. The collagen is weighed on a laoratory balance and will be oxidised to carbon dioxide which is then reduced to graphite. The graphite pellets are 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 figure for an age of the original sample. Photographed at the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, University of Oxford, UK.
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