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LARA AMS Laboratory

Welcome to LARA, the Laboratory for the Analysis of Radiocarbon with AMS!

There is long history of using 14C analysis for dating samples at the University of Bern. At the end of the 1950s the climate and environmental physicist Hans Oeschger set up one of the first 14C laboratories in the world, and the proportional counter that he developed broke new ground: the device was so accurate that for the first time even minute amounts of radioactivity could be measured, making it possible to conduct research into a completely new set of environmental archives.

The LARA laboratory, which opened in spring 2013, has placed the University of Bern back at the forefront of 14C analysis technology. The new MICADAS (MIni CArbon DAting System) device can deal with much smaller samples of material than the Oeschger counter, and is so much simpler to operate that about ten times more measurements can be made in the same amount of time.

The LARA laboratory was established at the initiative of the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR) and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. About a dozen of the research groups at the OCCR need to use 14C analysis. Their work ranges from the reconstruction of climate history, to gaining a better understanding of the carbon cycle, to the identification of sources of particulate matter. The researchers at the Oeschger Centre use MICADAS among other things to date samples, monitor environmental radioactivity and analyze CO2 emissions.

But LARA does not work exclusively for the groups from the Oeschger Centre. Its services are open to all interested users, whether involved in research or administration or from the private sector.

University of Bern | Laboratory for the Analysis of Radiocarbon with AMS| Freiestrasse 3 | CH-3012 Bern | szidat@dcb.unibe.ch | Tel +41 31 631 43 08
© University of Bern 2013-12-16 | Imprint

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