An accelerator mass spectrometer measures the amounts of different isotopes within a sample.For carbon dating, the process starts in an ionizing chamber, where the atoms within a sample of pure carbon are given a negative charge.
So the most important things about AMS radiocarbon dating as opposed to conventional is that the sample size is much, much smaller.
This particle accelerator coupled to a mass spectrometer facilitates measuring very small samples with great accuracy in only a couple of hours time.
The whole procedure, from sample preparation to measuring, is henceforth carried out at KIK-IRPA.
AMS is faster and needs a much smaller sample, but is more expensive.
Also shown are views of bone preparation at the Waikato Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory.