Advantages and disadvantages of radiocarbon dating
The ions produced are negative which prevents the confusion of ions). As they travel to the terminal (which is at about 2MV), they are accelerated so much that when they collide with the gas molecules in the central `stripper canal'.All of the molecular ions (such as Careful sampling and pre-treatment are very important stages in the dating process, particularly for archaeological samples where there is frequently contamination from the soil. The Radiocarbon Revolution Since its development by Willard Libby in the 1940s, radiocarbon (14C) dating has become one of the most essential tools in archaeology.Radiocarbon dating was the first chronometric technique widely available to archaeologists and was especially useful because it allowed researchers to directly date the panoply of organic remains often found in archaeological sites including artifacts made from bone, shell, wood, and other carbon based materials.Before sampling, the surface layers are usually removed because these are most susceptible to contamination.
The application of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) for radiocarbon dating in the late 1970s was also a major achievement.
In common with other kinds of mass spectrometry, AMS is performed by converting the atoms in the sample into a beam of fast moving ions (charged atoms).
The mass of these ions is then measured by the application of magnetic and electric fields.
For example, rootlet intrusion, soil type (e.g., limestone carbonates), and handling of the specimens in the field or lab (e.g., accidental introduction of tobacco ash, hair, or fibers) can all potentially affect the age of a sample.
Bioturbation by crabs, rodents, and other animals can also cause samples to move between strata leading to age reversals.