Radiocarbon (<sup>14</sup>C), the “natural clock” for dating organic matter,
is a very elusive atom. Its concentration is about one part per trillion. For the
past 30 years, accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) has been adopted as the standard
method for dating organic samples via radiocarbon. AMS requires a smaller carbon
mass and shorter measurement times than the old standard method of liquid
scintillation counting. However, AMS requires huge, expensive and high-maintenance
© 2012 Optical Society of America
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