Definition of radioactive dating

Posted by / 26-May-2019 00:04

Definition of radioactive dating

Relative dating, meanwhile, measures the order of past events, without determining their absolute age.A radioactive isotope is an isotope whose nucleus tends to release particles, radiant energy, or both; Radioactive dating is a technique for determining the age of material by measuring the amount of a particular radioactive isotope the material contain.

A method for determining the age of an object based on the concentration of a particular radioactive isotope contained within it.Assuming that the parent radioisotope was present at the time of formation of the rock, etc., then the number of daughter isotopes produced by radioactive decay of the parent depends only on the half-life of the parent and the age of the sample.Half-lives must therefore be known with great accuracy for precise dating and should range from about 10 years.In addition, there should be no loss or gain of parent or daughter isotope during the time the ‘radioactive clock’ is operating; if this condition is only partly satisfied, allowances must be made.The decay of radioisotopes can be used not only to date material but also to time very slow processes, such as the evolution of the Earth's atmosphere.

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Carbon dating uses the carbon-14 isotope, with a half life of about 5700 years.

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