So that you can determine radiocarbon ages it is important to get the level of radiocarbon in an example. This dimension may be made either by calculating the radioactivity for the test (the standard beta-counting technique) or by straight counting the radiocarbon atoms making use of a way called Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS).
Dimension regarding the radioactivity of this test is effective in the event that test is big, however in 9 months lower than 0.01per cent associated with radiocarbon ions will decay, therefore in a measurement that is reasonable (typically a couple weeks) just a tremendously little percentage associated with the radiocarbon atoms are detected by this technique. AMS, having said that, can in theory detect a higher percentage (typically about 1percent associated with total) permitting sample sizes to be smaller by an issue of about a thousand.
The technique is reasonably new as it requires extremely complicated instruments first developed for Nuclear Physics research into the belated twentieth century.