Small amounts of carbon-14 are not easily detected by typical Geiger–Müller (G-M) detectors; it is estimated that G-M detectors will not normally detect contamination of less than about 100,000 disintegrations per minute (0.05 µCi).Liquid scintillation counting is the preferred method.This rather complex formula shows you how to solve this puzzle using accepted scientific methods.
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These amounts can vary significantly between samples, ranging up to 1% of the ratio found in living organisms, a concentration comparable to an apparent age of 40,000.), or other unknown secondary sources of carbon-14 production.
The presence of carbon-14 in the isotopic signature of a sample of carbonaceous material possibly indicates its contamination by biogenic sources or the decay of radioactive material in surrounding geologic strata.
The gas mixes rapidly and becomes evenly distributed throughout the atmosphere (the mixing timescale in the order of weeks).
Carbon dioxide also dissolves in water and thus permeates the oceans, but at a slower rate.
Dating a specific sample of fossilized carbonaceous material is more complicated.
Such deposits often contain trace amounts of carbon-14.
The resulting neutrons ( but attempts to directly measure the production rate in situ were not very successful.
Production rates vary because of changes to the cosmic ray flux caused by the heliospheric modulation (solar wind and solar magnetic field), and due to variations in the Earth's magnetic field.
has been estimated to be roughly 12 to 16 years in the northern hemisphere.