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Guess Your Age?

Guess Your Age?

August 10, 2015

Brett Longworth, research associate in the Geology & Geophysics department, loads a wheel of samples into the ion source of the National Ocean Sciences Accelator Mass Spectrometry (NOSAMS) facility. The samples of graphite, a crystalline form of carbon, are used by the NOSAMS facility to measure the sample’s age using the carbon isotopes which have a specific rate of decay. This decay rate allows scientists to determine how old a sample is. The AMS facility can date many types of samples including seawater, corals, sediments, and rocks. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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