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The researchers claim that their idea could have other applications, including biomedical procedures, environmental monitoring, fundamental physics and explosives detection.
Carbon dating is an essential tool of modern archaeology because it allows the age of a biological sample to be determined from the radioactivity of its carbon compounds.
Rachel Wood does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.
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However, for samples aged around 50,000 years or older, accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) is the only method that is sensitive enough to detect the minute amounts of remaining carbon-14.
This means that although they are very similar chemically, they have different masses.But what's interesting is as soon as you die and you're not ingesting anymore plants, or breathing from the atmosphere if you are a plant, or fixing from the atmosphere. Once a plant dies, it's no longer taking in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and turning it into new tissue. And this carbon-14 does this decay at a specific rate. And you say, hey, that bone has one half the carbon-14 of all the living things that you see right now.