Radiocarbon dating for kids

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There have been different methods of measuring carbon-14 since Willard Libby pioneered the radiocarbon dating technique in the 1940s – from the radiometric techniques of gas proportional counting and liquid scintillation counting to the more recent accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS).

The minimum sample requirements for AMS dating are significantly smaller than for radiometric dating techniques, allowing even a few milligrams of sample to be dated for certain sample types.

Not only are the results more accurate and precise, the AMS analyses are also completed much faster.

A child mummy is found high in the Andes and the archaeologist says the child lived more than 2,000 years ago.

How do scientists know how old an object or human remains are?

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