Disadvantages of carbon 14 dating

The sample is converted into a beam of ions whose mass is measured by the addition of magnetic and electric fields.Because the concentration of C14 is so minute, it is difficult to use conventional mass spectrometry.

This can happen when samples pick up the wrong carbon from packing materials, are exposed to atmospheric radiocarbon or experience cross-contamination with other samples.

Therefore, other methods such as OSL (Optically Stimulated Luminescence dating) or isotopes with longer half-lives researchers studying US bristle cone pine and German and Irish oaks discovered fluctuations in the C14 concentration.

Measurements of the Libby half-life showed that Libby was about .3% too low.

Since its development in 1949, radiocarbon dating has become the standard method of determining the age of artifacts.

In spite of its popularity and overall success, carbon dating has limitations that all scientists should consider, according to the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB).

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