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A device such as this could offer a way to tie a monetary cost, or tax, to pollution.
“We developed a very general spectroscopic technique and showed that it can be used to detect radiocarbon dioxide,” said Giovanni Giusfredi, a member of the research team.
“This could revolutionize the approach that archaeologists use for carbon dating because they would not have to send sensitive samples away to a lab and wait weeks for a result.” Improving the environment The researcher team is also exploring several applications tied to the environment.
For example, radiocarbon dioxide concentration measurements can be used to distinguish carbon dioxide created by burning fossil fuels from other sources of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
As the light repeatedly bounces between the mirrors, the radiocarbon molecules in the cavity absorb some of the light. Accelerator mass spectrometry measures the amount of carbon-14, or radiocarbon, present in a sample, which can be used to calculate its age.