Wiki carbon 14 dating

03 Feb

When a material incorporates both the parent and daughter nuclides at the time of formation, it may be necessary to assume that the initial proportions of a radioactive substance and its daughter are known.The daughter product should not be a small-molecule gas that can leak out of the material, and it must itself have a long enough half-life that it will be present in significant amounts.Poor vacuum permits gaseous atoms to intercept ionised atoms which are meant to be measured.The resolution of the receptor is also a factor, but modern equipment is greatly improved on previous editions.In addition, the initial element and the decay product should not be produced or depleted in significant amounts by other reactions.

Primary amongst these is the quality of the vacuum.If a material that selectively rejects the daughter nuclide is heated, any daughter nuclides that have been accumulated over time will be lost through diffusion, setting the isotopic "clock" to zero.The temperature at which this happens is known as the "blocking temperature" and is specific to a particular material.Additionally, measurement in a mass spectrometer is subject to isotopic interference of other nuclides with the same mass number.Corrections may have to be performed by measuring isotopic ratios of elements which interfere with the target isotope.