Example of radioactive dating
If one knows how much of this radioactive material was present initially in the object (by determining how much of the material has decayed), and one knows the half-life of the material, one can deduce the age of the object. Wiens has a Ph D in Physics, with a minor in Geology.The object's approximate age can then be figured out using the known rate of decay of the isotope.For organic materials, the comparison is between the current ratio of a radioactive isotope to a stable isotope of the same element and the known ratio of the two isotopes in living organisms.Fossils are collected along with rocks that occur from the same strata.These samples are carefully cataloged and analyzed with a mass spectrometer.C-14 is another radioactive isotope that decays to C-12. Because of its short half-life, the number of C-14 isotopes in a sample is negligible after about 50,000 years, making it impossible to use for dating older samples. in Earth-Space Science from West Chester University of Pennsylvania.
A process for determining the age of an object by measuring the amount of a given radioactive material it contains.
Corina Fiore is a writer and photographer living in suburban Philadelphia. She worked as a staff writer for science texts and has been published in Praxis review materials for beginning teachers.
any method of determining the age of earth materials or objects of organic origin based on measurement of either short-lived radioactive elements or the amount of a long-lived radioactive element plus its decay product.
He is presently employed in the Space & Atmospheric Sciences Group at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Radiometric dating--the process of determining the age of rocks from the decay of their radioactive elements--has been in widespread use for over half a century.