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An accelerator mass spectrometer has a run time of a few hours per sample.

Lastly, it must be noted that AMS measurements usually achieve higher precision and lower backgrounds than radiometric dating methods.

When the samples have finally been converted into few milligrams of graphite, they are pressed on to a metal disc.Thanks to nuclear physics, mass spectrometers have been fine-tuned to separate a rare isotope from an abundant neighboring mass, and accelerator mass spectrometry was born.A method has finally been developed to detect carbon 14 in a given sample and ignore the more abundant isotopes that swamp the carbon 14 signal.Detectors at different angles of deflection then count the particles.At the end of an AMS run, data gathered is not only the number of carbon 14 atoms in the sample but also the quantity of carbon 12 and carbon 13.

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