Elements used in radioactive dating

by  |  04-Jul-2016 18:07

The thing that makes this decay process so valuable for determining the age of an object is that each radioactive isotope decays at its own fixed rate, which is expressed in terms of its half-life.

So, if you know the radioactive isotope found in a substance and the isotope's half-life, you can calculate the age of the substance. Well, a simple explanation is that it is the time required for a quantity to fall to half of its starting value.

Radioactive dating uses the decay rates of radioactive substances to measure absolute ages of rocks, minerals and carbon-based substances, according to How Stuff Works.

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Elements used in radioactive dating society and teenage dating in britain

There are different methods of radiometric dating that will vary due to the type of material that is being dated.

For example, uranium-lead dating can be used to find the age of a uranium-containing mineral.

This process begins as soon as a living thing dies and is unable to produce more carbon-14.

Plants produce carbon-14 through photosynthesis, while animals and people ingest carbon-14 by eating plants. Scientists determine the ages of once-living things by measuring the amount of carbon-14 in the material.

So, we see there are a number of different methods for dating rocks and other non-living things, but what if our sample is organic in nature?

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