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The silica glass vials are loaded into the liquid scintillation spectrometer.
The carbon dioxide is collected and bubbled through various chemicals in the line, which purify it, and the amount of carbon dioxide that has been collected is measured.
Amongst the artefacts that have been found are ancient moa bones.
Some of these have been sent to the Waikato Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory for analysis.
Carbon-14 dating has been used successfully on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Minoan ruins and tombs of the pharaohs among other things. The half-life of carbon-14 is approximately 5,730 years. dinosaurs the evolution alleges lived millions of years ago.
Levels of carbon-14 become difficult to measure and compare after about 50,000 years (between 8 and 9 half lives; where 1% of the original carbon-14 would remain undecayed).