Accelerator mass spectrometry
Litherland, Albert E. Isotrace Laboratory, Department of Physics, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Last reviewed:January 2020
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The use of a combination of mass spectrometers and an accelerator to measure the natural abundances of very rare radioactive isotopes. These abundances are frequently lower than parts per trillion. The most important applications of accelerator mass spectrometry are in archeological, geophysical, environmental, and biological studies, such as in radiocarbon dating by the counting of the rare carbon-14 (radiocarbon; 14C) isotope. See also: Mass spectroscope; Particle accelerator
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