radiometric dating


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Related to radiometric dating: Carbon 14 dating

radiometric dating

(ray-dee-oh-met -rik) The dating of rocks (and also fossils and archeological remains) by the accurate determination of the quantities of a long-lived radioactive isotope and its stable decay product in a sample. 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 105 to about 1010 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.

Pairs of isotopes used in radiometric dating include potassium–40 which decays to argon–40 with a half-life of 1.25 × 109 years, and rubidium–87 which decays to strontium–87 with a half-life of 4.88 × 1010 years.

radiometric dating

[‚rād·ē·ə‚me·trik ′dād·iŋ]
(archeology)
A dating method that utilizes the radioactive decay of certain long-lived, naturally occurring parent isotopes to stable daughter isotopes.
(nucleonics)
A technique for measuring the age of an object or sample of material by determining the ratio of the concentration of a radioisotope to that of a stable isotope in it; for example, the ratio of carbon-14 to carbon-12 reveals the approximate age of bones, pieces of wood, and other archeological specimens. Also known as isotopic age determination; nuclear age determination; radioactive age determination; radioactive dating; radiogenic age determination; radiogenic dating.
References in periodicals archive ?
And the radiometric dating is how old the rock actually is.
2) Ever since these early heady days in the study of radioactivity, numerous radiometric dating methods have been proposed.
To understand how radiometric dating works, consider a crystal of pure rubidium chloride (RbCl).
Of course, radiometric dating is especially important for the Precambrian, for which most or all of the other methodologies are unavailable.
While few serious scientists have questioned radiometric dating for more than 50 years, let's accept that the assumptions about atomic theory that underlie it are false.
Recent radiometric dating (Miller and Fyffe 2002; Van Wagoner and Dadd 2003) also support a Silurian age for the Eastport Formation.
This data, combined with the recent radiometric dating and stratigraphic work of Miller and Fyffe (2002) and Van Wagoner and Dadd (2003), strongly favour a Late Silurian (Pridolian) age for the Eastport Formation over a Devonian one.
The remaining 18 contributions are arranged in more or less chronological order, beginning with the work on biblical chronology in the 1660's and ending with the radiometric dating chronologies of the present day.
But the paleomagnetic dates need to be confirmed by a radiometric dating method.
researchers thought it would be impossible to find a sample suitable for radiometric dating.