Radioactive dating calculation Nuclear Chemistry: Half-Lives and Radioactive Dating

Radioactive dating calculation

Other minerals that also show these properties, but are less commonly used in radiometric radioactive dating calculation are Apatite and sphene.

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The argon age determination of the mineral can be confirmed by measuring the loss of potassium. The problem is that there is no way of knowing whether or not partial or complete loss of Ar has occurred.

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As strontium forms, its ratio to strontium will increase. Click on the web site of Dr. The answer is about 6 billion years.

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Scientists know the half-life of C 5, yearsso they can figure out how long ago the organism died. Now we know that we're using C, and its been through 3 half-lives.


This adds an additional unknown in the process, and requires an additional piece of data to permit a solution for elapsed time. Therefore the radioactive dating calculation of argon formed provides a direct measurement of the amount of potassium present in the specimen when it was originally formed.

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Two isotopes of Uranium and one isotope of Th are radioactive and decay to produce various isotopes of Pb. It might take a millisecond, or it might take a century. Because argon is an inert gasit is not possible that it might have been in the mineral when it was first formed from molten magma.

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The decrease in the amount of potassium required to form the original mineral has consistently confirmed the age as determined by the amount of argon formed. If all of the meteorites formed at the same time and have been closed to U and Pb since their formation, then we can use the Pb-Pb isochron to date all meteorites.

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There is no more reason to believe that than to believe that at some time in the past iron did not rust and wood did not burn. He then calculates an "age" for the first element by dividing its quantity by its decay rate, R; and an "age" for the second element by dividing its quantity by its decay rate, cR.

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But if you have a large enough sample, a pattern begins to emerge. Is this the age of the Earth?

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How many half-lives have gone by? The nuclide rubidium decays, with a half life of We can also construct a Concordia diagram, which shows the values of Pb isotopes that would give concordant dates. Because of the short half-life of 14 C, it is only used to date materials younger than about 70, years.