Radiocarbon dating sample size

Most radiocarbon AMS laboratories process samples using a variant of the method described by Vogel [5], with apparatus and processes typically optimized for samples containing about 1 mg of carbon.

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However, the original anticipation of 100,000-year background levels has been “unrealized due to a variety of sample processing and instrument-based experimental constraints” [4].

The ICR (Institute for Creation Research) recently spent eight years on a project known as RATE (Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth).

The RATE team claims the results have yielded convincing and irrefutable scientific evidence of a young earth.

Thus, even if larger samples like RATE’s “on the order of 100 mg” [6] are submitted to an AMS laboratory, only about 1 mg of carbon will actually undergo analysis.

Though Baumgardner calls a 1 mg sample “tiny” [6], it is generally considered “large” by AMS laboratories [e.g., 5, 7, 8], with enough carbon to provide ion source current for about a day.

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