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Radioactive isotope dating examples

radioactive isotope dating examples-5

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. 1979, 1986 © Harper Collins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 Cite This Source (rā'dē-ō-mět'rĭk) A method for determining the age of an object based on the concentration of a particular radioactive isotope contained within it.For inorganic materials, such as rocks containing the radioactive isotope rubidium, the amount of the isotope in the object is compared to the amount of the isotope's decay products (in this case strontium).

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Many isotopes have been studied, probing a wide range of time scales.The atoms of each element may vary slightly in the numbers of neutrons within their nuclei. 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.The nucleus contains protons (tiny particles each with a single positive electric charge) and neutrons (particles without any electric charge).

Orbiting around the nucleus are electrons (tiny particles each with a single negative electric charge).

If you could watch a single atom of a radioactive isotope, U-238, for example, you wouldn’t be able to predict when that particular atom might decay.

It might take a millisecond, or it might take a century. But if you have a large enough sample, a pattern begins to emerge.

Many are also unaware that Bible-believing Christians are among those actively involved in radiometric dating.

Scientists look at half-life decay rates of radioactive isotopes to estimate when a particular atom might decay.

A useful application of half-lives is radioactive dating.