Three facts about radiometric dating

To me it has been a real eye opener to see all the processes that are taking place and their potential influence on radiometric dating.

He is presently employed in the Space & Atmospheric Sciences Group at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.When an atom varies in the number of neutrons, the variation is called an isotope. During radioactivity, the unstable isotope breaks down and changes into a different substance.A new, more stable isotope, called the decay or daughter product, takes its place.Of course, there are many problems with such dating methods, such as parent or daughter substances entering or leaving the rock, as well as daughter product being present at the beginning.Here I want to concentrate on another source of error, namely, processes that take place within magma chambers.This decay process leads to a more balanced nucleus and when the number of protons and neutrons balance, the atom becomes stable.This radioactivity can be used for dating, since a radioactive 'parent' element decays into a stable 'daughter' element at a constant rate.those that form during chemical reactions without breaking down).The unstable or more commonly known radioactive isotopes break down by radioactive decay into other isotopes.Radioactive dating uses the ratios of isotopes and their specific decay products to determine the ages of rocks, fossils and other substances.Elements occur naturally in the earth, and they can tell us a lot about our Earth's past.


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