Well, GNS is the go-to place in the country for radiocarbon dating, which uses a carbon radioisotope (carbon-14) to date material up to around 50,000 years old.
This is generally used for carbon-dating organic material like sediments, wood, bones and plant matter.
This resource is designed to provide online information concerning the radiocarbon dating method.
But the impetus behind the upgrade from the existing aging particle accelerator is climate science research.
A mass spectrometer is an instrument that uses a series of magnets to bend a beam of ions and then physically count how many there are, so with AMS radiocarbon dating, we can measure a carbon-12, 13 and 14 beam, and we measure the ratio of 14 to 13, and from that, we can tell how much C-14 is in the sample.
So the most important things about AMS radiocarbon dating as opposed to conventional is that the sample size is much, much smaller.
Dr Christine Prior is Team Leader of the Rafter Radiocarbon Laboratory at GNS Science.
In this video, she compares conventional and accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dating.