SCAR offers significant time and cost savings compared to the standard approach for carbon dating and could be useful for a host of other applications such as measuring emissions from fossil fuels or certifying the amount of biogenic content in biofuels.Faster, cheaper carbon dating Current carbon dating processes require researchers to send a sample to a large facility with an accelerator mass spectrometer and then wait several weeks to get results back.An accelerator then increases the kinetic energy of the carbon ions to 10-30 million electron volts and moves them through a tube where a powerful electromagnet makes them change direction. Because carbon-14 decays over time, the amount of it in a sample indicates the age of the sample.How much their path bends depends on their mass: Lighter ions bend more. Penn State will soon be home to an accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS) that will allow researchers all over the country to do high-precision carbon dating to address questions about Earth's past and present.
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Accelerator mass spectrometry measures the amount of carbon-14, or radiocarbon, present in a sample, which can be used to calculate its age.
Around the world, only about 100 facilities house this equipment.
The team reanalyzed two milk teeth, which were discovered in the Grotta del Cavallo site in 1964 and previously classified as Neanderthal.
They showed, using micro CT scanning and extensive comparative work, that the specimens are anatomically modern human.