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Following death, however, no new carbon is consumed.Progressively through time, the carbon-14 atoms decay and once again become nitrogen-14.These energy charged electrons progressively accumulate over time.When a sample is heated to high temperatures in a laboratory, the trapped electrons are released and return to their normal positions in their atoms.
When odd numbers of electrons are separated, there is a measurable change in the magnetic field (or spin) of the atoms.
Although, organic materials as old as 100,000 years potentially can be dated with AMS, dates older than 60,000 years are still rare.
Paleoanthropologists and archaeologists must always be aware of possible radiocarbon sample contamination that could result in inaccurate dates.
However, paleoanthropologists rarely use it to date sites more than several million years old.
rock, soil, and clay produce constant low amounts of background ionizing radiation.
Such contamination can occur if a sample is exposed to carbon compounds in exhaust gasses produced by.