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The method does not count beta particles but the number of carbon atoms present in the sample and the proportion of the isotopes. Samples that have been radiocarbon dated since the inception of the method include charcoal, wood, twigs, seeds, bones, shells, leather, peat, lake mud, soil, hair, pottery, pollen, wall paintings, corals, blood residues, fabrics, paper or parchment, resins, and water, among others.Physical and chemical pretreatments are done on these materials to remove possible contaminants before they are analyzed for their radiocarbon content.There are three principal techniques used to measure carbon 14 content of any given sample— gas proportional counting, liquid scintillation counting, and accelerator mass spectrometry.Gas proportional counting is a conventional radiometric dating technique that counts the beta particles emitted by a given sample. In this method, the carbon sample is first converted to carbon dioxide gas before measurement in gas proportional counters takes place.

Archaeology and other human sciences use radiocarbon dating to prove or disprove theories.Radiocarbon Dating Groundwater The application of radiocarbon dating to groundwater analysis can offer a technique to predict the over-pumping of the aquifer before it becomes contaminated or overexploited.Tracer-Free AMS Dating Lab Beta Analytic does not accept pharmaceutical samples with "tracer Carbon-14" or any other material containing artificial Carbon-14 to eliminate the risk of cross-contamination.It is rapidly oxidized in air to form carbon dioxide and enters the global carbon cycle.Plants and animals assimilate carbon 14 from carbon dioxide throughout their lifetimes.

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