Radioactive dating using a mass spectrometer

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The dates obtained by this method should provide more reliable radiocarbon chronologies for paleo-environmental studies than have been obtainable by bulk sediment dating.

The Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) technique enables small samples to be dated.

AMS dates are therefore more precise and require smaller samples.

For more detailed information on this and other dating techniques used in archaeology, see the Dating in Archaeology Short Course.

The uncertainty in determining the slope is reduced because it is defined by many points.Reducing the sample size doesn't reduce systematic errors and it doesn't make any sense to improve statistical errors past the point of no-return in any experiment. contamination, increasing the count of atoms won't help, either.There is, of course, also the component of cost and experimental complexity.The slope is proportional to the geologic age of the system.In practice, the isochron approach has many inherent advantages.

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