A method has finally been developed to detect carbon 14 in a given sample and ignore the more abundant isotopes that swamp the carbon 14 signal.There are essentially two parts in the process of radiocarbon dating through accelerator mass spectrometry.The first part involves accelerating the ions to extraordinarily high kinetic energies, and the subsequent step involves mass analysis.

The chemist who developed carbon dating, Willard Libby, won the Nobel Prize for his work.

“Seldom has a single discovery in chemistry had such an impact on the thinking in so many fields of human endeavour,” one of Libby's colleagues wrote at the time, according to the Nobel Foundation.

This is done by conversion to carbon dioxide with subsequent graphitization in the presence of a metal catalyst.

Burning the samples to convert them into graphite, however, also introduces other elements into the sample like nitrogen 14.

Combustion of fossil fuels is “diluting the fraction of atmospheric carbon dioxide containing radiocarbon,” Graven told , the large amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will make new organic material appear to be 1,000 years old based on today’s carbon-dating models.

By the year 2100, the atmosphere will have a radiocarbon age of 2,000 years old. If Graven's calculations are correct, carbon dating as we know it today will no longer be reliable by the year 2030.

These metal discs are then mounted on a target wheel so they can be analyzed in sequence.

Ions from a cesium gun are then fired at the target wheel, producing negatively ionized carbon atoms.

The two techniques are used primarily in determining carbon 14 content of archaeological artifacts and geological samples.

These two radiocarbon dating methods use modern standards such as oxalic acid and other reference materials.

When the samples have finally been converted into few milligrams of graphite, they are pressed on to a metal disc.