Principle for dating materials using radioactive isotopes

by  |  04-Apr-2017 16:23

Radiometric dating, or radioactive dating as it is sometimes called, is a method used to date rocks and other objects based on the known decay rate of radioactive isotopes.

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Thus, if we start out with 1 gram of the parent isotope, after the passage of 1 half-life there will be 0.5 gram of the parent isotope left.

After the passage of two half-lives only 0.25 gram will remain, and after 3 half lives only 0.125 will remain etc.

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The only problem is that we only know the number of daughter atoms now present, and some of those may have been present prior to the start of our clock. The reason for this is that Rb has become distributed unequally through the Earth over time.

Principle for dating materials using radioactive isotopes

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