Radioactive dating artifacts
At this stage, other negatively charged atoms are unstable and cannot reach the detector.The negatively charged carbon atoms, however, move on to the stripper (a gas or a metal foil) where they lose the electrons and emerge as the triple, positively charged carbon atoms.Reference materials are also pressed on metal discs.These metal discs are then mounted on a target wheel so they can be analyzed in sequence.
The carbon atoms with triple positive charge further accelerate away from the positive terminal and pass through another set of focusing devices where mass analysis occurs.
These two radiocarbon dating methods use modern standards such as oxalic acid and other reference materials.
Although both radiocarbon dating methods produce high-quality results, they are fundamentally different in principle.
Mass spectrometers detect atoms of specific elements according to their atomic weights.
They, however, do not have the sensitivity to distinguish atomic isobars (atoms of different elements that have the same atomic weight, such as in the case of carbon 14 and nitrogen 14—the most common isotope of nitrogen).