Radiocarbon dating its scope and limitations
For example: C has long been used as a tracer for chemical processes and pathways, the amount of tracer required using decay counting can be hazardous to the researchers, pose contamination problems or, in some cases, itself influence the process being studied.AMS allows very low levels of tracer to be used, completely avoiding these problems.AMS tends to be more expensive than decay counting because purchasing and maintaining a particle accelerator and its associated components is expensive.
As a consequence, a measurement that may take several days and require grams of sample using decay counting may take only 30 minutes and consume a milligram using AMS.
Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) is a technique for measuring the concentrations of rare isotopes that cannot be detected with conventional mass spectrometers.
The original, and best known, application of AMS is radiocarbon dating, where you are trying to detect the rare isotope A nuclear particle accelerator consists essentially of two linear accelerators joined end-to-end, with the join section (called the terminal) charged to a very high positive potential (3 million volts or higher). Injecting negatively charged carbon ions from the material being analysed into a nuclear particle accelerator based on the electrostatic tandem accelerator principle. The negative ions are accelerated towards the positive potential.
Photosynthesis incorporates 14C into plants and therefore animals that eat the plants.
14C enters the dissolved inorganic carbon pool in the oceans, lakes and rivers.
A small sample size may or may not be a decisive advantage in a particular case, depending on the task and the nature of the sample material.