Age dating contamination

Most radiocarbon AMS laboratories process samples using a variant of the method described by Vogel [5], with apparatus and processes typically optimized for samples containing about 1 mg of carbon.While samples containing less than 0.01 mg of carbon have been successfully dated, measurement precision begins to suffer below about 0.1 mg of carbon due to counting statistics.The age limit was roughly 30k years, due both to poor statistics from low decay count rates and to cosmic ray backgrounds.Richard Muller proposed a new measurement technique, called “accelerator mass spectrometry” (AMS), in 1976 [3].This equilibrium continues through plants to herbivores and through them to carnivores.Once an organism dies, its carbon ceases exchanging with atmospheric carbon but continues decaying with a half-life of about 5730 years.

However, the original anticipation of 100,000-year background levels has been “unrealized due to a variety of sample processing and instrument-based experimental constraints” [4].

But the amount of contamination is generally impossible to quantify.

An old sample with in situ contamination cannot generally provide an accurate date.

The second is a set of new samples that the RATE team collected and sent to a leading radiocarbon AMS laboratory to be dated.

In both cases, I am convinced that the “intrinsic radiocarbon” is nothing more than contamination and instrument background.

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  1. Although they are not involved in making business or operation decisions for the foundation, they serve an important role as ambassadors of the university and the foundation.