Radiometric dating encyclopedia

Various methods exist differing in accuracy, cost and applicable time scale All ordinary matter is made up of combinations of chemical elements, each with its own atomic number, indicating the number of protons in the atomic nucleus.

Additionally, elements may exist in different isotopes, with each isotope of an element differing only in the number of neutrons in the nucleus.

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Additionally, elements may exist in different isotopes, with each isotope of an element differing in the number of neutrons in the nucleus.

A particular isotope of a particular element is called a nuclide. That is, at some point in time, an atom of such a nuclide will spontaneously transform into a different nuclide.

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By allowing the establishment of geological timescales, it provides a significant source of information about the ages of fossils and the deduced rates of evolutionary change.

Radiometric dating is also used to date archaeological materials, including ancient artifacts.

For inorganic matter and for older materials, isotopes of other elements, such as potassium, uranium, and strontium, are used.

Mikhail Marov of the Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry said scientists had determined the meteorite's age by observing the amount of radioactive isotopes and their decay byproducts, a technique called of a granodiorite at the Cuttaburra A prospect indicates that this mineralised system may be Middle Silurian in age and thus indicating that the host rocks are older than those hosting the Cobar-type deposits.

While the moment in time at which a particular nucleus decays is random, a collection of atoms of a radioactive nuclide decays exponentially at a rate described by a parameter known as the half-life, usually given in units of years when discussing dating techniques.

After one half-life has elapsed, one half of the atoms of the substance in question will have decayed.

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