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Mass spectrometers are made up of an ion generator, analyzer, and several detectors.The sample is ionized using the ionic generator and then passed through a magnetic field that separates the samples into different groups based on their mass and ionization levels.Because this new element (decay product) remains on or within the object, scientists can easily determine how old the object is. A mass spectrometer is a fundamental device in any radiometric dating experiment.Mass spectrometers can be used to measure isotopic samples as small as one 1 nanogram. BASIS OF RADIOCARBON DATING Radiocarbon dating compares the amount of normal carbon with the amount of radioactive carbon in a sample.
For example, uranium-lead experiments are often conducted on older, inorganic objects because uranium-lead conversions have a much longer half-life than other isotopes. Basis of Radiocarbon Dating Problems with Radiocarbon Dating The Earth's Magnetic Field Table 1 Effect of Increasing Earth's Magnetic Field Removal of Carbon From the Biosphere Water Vapour Canopy Effect on Radiocarbon Dating Figure 1 Apparent Radiocarbon Dates Heartwood and Frozen Time Early Post-Flood Trees Appendix Radiocarbon Date Table HOW ACCURATE IS RADIOCARBON DATING? The normal carbon atom has six protons and six neutrons in its nucleus, giving a total atomic mass of 12.