Radiocarbon dating by accelerator mass spectrometry
At the kinetic energies typically used in an AMS system it is possible to use well-established nuclear physics techniques to detect the individual C ions as they arrive at a suitable particle detector.
Radiocarbon dating research has been part of the University of Arizona since 1954.
The AMS Laboratory was founded in 1981 by Professors Douglas J. Damon (Geosciences) with support from the National Science Foundation.
Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) is a technique for measuring the concentrations of rare isotopes that cannot be detected with conventional mass spectrometers.
The original, and best known, application of AMS is radiocarbon dating, where you are trying to detect the rare isotope A nuclear particle accelerator consists essentially of two linear accelerators joined end-to-end, with the join section (called the terminal) charged to a very high positive potential (3 million volts or higher). Injecting negatively charged carbon ions from the material being analysed into a nuclear particle accelerator based on the electrostatic tandem accelerator principle. The negative ions are accelerated towards the positive potential.About 10 large pits, with diameters between 2-3 m (6.5-10 ft) and depths between .7-1.1 m (2.3-3.6 ft) were found surrounding the mammoth-bone structures at Mezhirich, filled with bone and ash, and are believed to have been used as either meat storage facilities, refuse pits or both.