Radiocarbon Laboratory

Welcome to the radiocarbon sample preparation laboratory at the A. E. Lalonde AMS Laboratory. Located in the Advanced Research Complex (ARC), the radiocarbon lab prepares samples for analysis on the 3MV accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS) made by High Voltage Engineering (HVE). Our lab features custom semi-automated graphitization lines, which integrate user simplicity with full systems-monitoring and sample protection interlocks. For further information on sample preparation techniques, please refer to our analytical methods page.

Did You Know?

  • Lalonde AMS was used to date a needle case housed at the Museum of History in Gatineau. The case is of European manufacture and was found in an Iroquois site occupied only in the 16th century. It is a very early example of indigenous contact with Europeans.
  • The lab coordinates with archaeologists from Yukon Tourism and Culture on the radiocarbon analysis of alpine hunting technologies used by the First Nations Peoples on the Yukon ice patches over the past 10,000 years. Most notably, radiocarbon chronologies show an abrupt technological replacement of the throwing dart by the bow and arrow after the massive volcanic eruption of Mt. Churchill 1,200 years ago caused wide-scale migrations of people and cultural exchange with southern communities.