The ultra-sensitive technique of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) is used to measure long-lived radionuclides that are of major interest in very different fields of science. The Ion Beam Physics Group covers a broad range of applications including Radiocarbon Dating, Geomorphology, Climate Research, Environmental Monitoring, and Medical Research.
Radiocarbon dating is a method that uses the naturally occurring isotope 14C to determine the age of carbonaceous materials up to ca. 60,000 years. For the last 15 years we have been involved in numerous projects in Archaeology, Climate research as well as dating of art objects and textiles. »»
Remnants of glacial events
such as moraines can be dated using the buildup of the cosmogenic nuclides like 10Be and 26Al
in these surface rocks. »»
Cosmogenic radionuclides like 10Be, 14C, 26Al and 36Cl are mainly produced in the atmosphere, and deposited in terrestrial-, ice core- and oceanic archives. They are used as environmental tracers or as dating agents and have become important tools in many climate studies. Furthermore, they serve as unique tracers for cosmic ray flux allowing the reconstruction of past solar- and geomagnetic variability from ice cores or marine sediments. Natural occurring radionuclides like 231Pa are used as valuable tracers in oceanography. »»
Long-lived anthtropogenic radionuclides such as 129I, 236U and 239/240Pu are introduced into the environment by nuclear bomb tests, nuclear reprocessing facilities, and accidents in nuclear industry. These isotopes can be measured with the ultra-sensitive technique of AMS in samples from all over the world. »»
In medicine, radioisotopes are used for diagnosis, treatment, and research. The laboratory of Ion Beam Physics is involved in such studies within several collaborations.
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