25 May 1998 Helium radiogenic clock for dating of archaeological gold
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The archaeological gold contains usually 10 - 80 ppb U238 as a trace element. Under radioactive decay U238 produces approximately 3.7 alpha particles in 1 mg of metal containing 1 ppb of U238 per one year. The a-particles (as He4) are accumulated inside the metal as gold appears to be extremely retentive for He. When the metal is heated to its melting point all accumulated helium escapes thus establishing 'zero-time' for the He-radiogenic clock. This way the clock starts at the point when the object is manufactured. The new ultrasensitive He-recycling mass-spectrometer providing the sensitivity approximately 2.5(DOT)104 He-atoms has been developed and manufactured for the museum usage. Taking a gold sample of 5 - 10 mg with typical 10 ppb U content in gold one can expect to find 185,000 - 370,000 He atoms in metal manufactured 1000 years ago. These quantities can be easily detected by the instrument thus providing rather reliable authentication (and in some cases -- absolute dating) tool for detection of fakes.
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Alexander J. Kossolapov, Alexander J. Kossolapov, Alexander P. Ivanov, Alexander P. Ivanov, Pavel B. Kuznetsov, Pavel B. Kuznetsov, } "Helium radiogenic clock for dating of archaeological gold", Proc. SPIE 3315, Scientific Detection of Fakery in Art, (25 May 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.308588; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.308588


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