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As a test, the team took samples of acacia wood from two Egyptian Pharaohs and dated them; the results came back to within what was then a reasonable range: 2800BC /- 250 years whereas the earlier independent dates (largely the dendrochronology records) were 2625 /- 75 years (3), (5).
Archaeologists had used Relative Dating methods to calculate their reigns.
This is why calibration against objects whose age is known is required (14).
AMS works slightly differently; it converts the atoms of the sample into fast-moving ions so that they become charged atoms.
AMS counts the quantity of C isotope is constantly formed in the upper atmosphere thanks to the effects of cosmic rays on nitrogen-14 atoms.
Today, the radiocarbon-14 dating method is used extensively in environmental sciences and in human sciences such as archaeology and anthropology.
It also has some applications in geology; its importance in dating organic materials cannot be underestimated enough.
By applying magnetic and electrical fields, the mass of these ions is measured and the accelerator is used to remove ions that might contaminate the dating.
The sample passes through several accelerators in order to remove as many atoms as possible until the C pass into the detector.