The carbon dioxide formed in the combustion stage is heated in the presence of pure lithium metal, which produces lithium carbide.When all of the carbon dioxide has reacted, distilled water is added to the lithium carbide and a chemical reaction occurs, resulting in the production of acetylene gas.Amongst the artefacts that have been found are ancient moa bones.Some of these have been sent to the Waikato Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory for analysis.The scintillator chemical butyl-PBD picks up each decay event and emits a tiny flash of light that the spectrometer is programmed to detect and count.In addition to the moa sample, control samples are also measured at the same time.
A scintillator chemical (butyl-PBD) is added to the liquid benzene.
Learn more about Tom’s work on refining radiocarbon dating and how science is advancing our understanding of human evolution through the Palaeolithic period.
Carbon-14 dating—explained in everyday terms by Dr Carl Wieland An attempt to explain this very important method of dating and the way in which, when fully understood, it supports a ‘short’ timescale.
The silica glass vials are loaded into the liquid scintillation spectrometer.
The C-14 atoms present in the benzene decay at a certain rate.