Describe carbon dating

The sample must be destroyed in order to measure its c14 content.

The first measurements of radiocarbon were made in screen-walled Geiger counters with the sample prepared for measurement in a solid form.

However, when the organism dies, the amount of c14 declines such that the longer the time since death the lower the levels of c14 in organic tissue.Most samples require chemical pre-treatment to ensure their purity or to recover particular components of the material.The objective of pre-treatment is to ensure that the carbon being analyzed is native to the sample submitted for dating.Any organic material that is available in sufficient quantity can be prepared for radiocarbon dating.Modern AMS (accelerator mass spectroscopy) methods require tiny amounts, about 50 mg.

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