Ox dating

The unit has four stable isotope mass spectrometers.Two Europa Scientific instruments are used in conjunction with automated gas collection systems for radiocarbon samples.If any uncertainties remain these are reported to the submitter in the results letter.Radiocarbon measurements are always reported in terms of years `before present' (BP).Individual measurements are unlikely to be able to give a range at two standard deviations (or 95% confidence) of better than 120 years.In many cases, the overall range is closer to 200 years and in some cases greater still.The measurement of a radiocarbon date is a complex business and ORAU is involved in all stages of the process from advice given prior to submission of samples right through to help with statistical interpretation and publication.Radiocarbon measurements are difficult to make with good precision and accuracy.

They cover most of the materials suitable for radiocarbon measurement.They are set up to measure the carbon and nitrogen compositions and stable isotope ratios.Precisions are usually better 0.1 to 0.2 per mil for δN.At this stage, we reject a significant minority of samples as being unsuitable for dating.Because a wrong radiocarbon date is usually more misleading than no date at all, we never date material if we are unsure of its chemical origins.

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