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The ensuing atomic interactions create a steady supply of c14 that rapidly diffuses throughout the atmosphere.Plants take up c14 along with other carbon isotopes during photosynthesis in the proportions that occur in the atmosphere; animals acquire c14 by eating the plants (or other animals).This is the clock that permits levels of c14 in organic archaeological, geological, and paleontological samples to be converted into an estimate of time.The measurement of the rate of radioactive decay is known as its half-life, the time it takes for half of a sample to decay.

Theoretically, the AMS instrument should obtain ages up to 95,000 years, but practically, 60,000 years or less is the limit.AMS technology has allowed us to date very small samples (such as seeds) that were previously undatable.Since there are practical limits to the age range of the method, most samples must be younger than 50,000 years and older than 100 years.But the radiocarbon detected in diamonds is equivalent to ages of up to 80,000 years.So you can see why the various age limits have appeared in different publications of ours.

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