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In the process extensive precautions have to be taken to ensure that Carbon which is not from the sample does not contaminate the sample.
The most precise method for Carbon dating today is known as AMS, for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry.
In some radioactive decay processes, such as for Uranium-238, once the U-238 isotope decays, there is a long series of other unstable isotopes before you finally come to a stable one that does not decay (Lead-206). This means that every 5,730 years, there will be half as many C-14 atoms.
Since C-14 is more massive than C-12, it is bent by the magnetic field less. If there is so little Carbon-14 that it cannot be detected by the AMS equipment, then that would mean the sample should be older than about 90 or 100 thousand years.Everyone has heard of the term half-life, which has to do with how quickly or slowly a sample of a radioactive isotope decays.