Radiometric dating of rocks and minerals

21-Apr-2017 13:27

By measuring the C concentration or residual radioactivity of a sample whose age is not known, it is possible to obtain the number of decay events per gram of Carbon.

By comparing this with modern levels of activity (1890 wood corrected for decay to 1950 AD) and using the measured half-life it becomes possible to calculate a date for the death of the sample. As a result of atomic bomb usage, C ages of objects younger than 1950.

Here are some of the materials that can be successfully dated using this method: Potassium-Argon Dating Potassium-Argon (K-Ar) dating is the most widely applied technique of radiometric dating.

Potassium is a component in many common minerals and can be used to determine the ages of igneous and metamorphic rocks.

This method dates the formation or time of crystallisation of the mineral that is being dated; it does not tell when the elements themselves were formed.

It is best used with rocks that contain minerals that crystallised over a very short period, possibly at the same time the rock was formed.

The original atom is referred to as the parent and the following decay products are referred to as the daughter.

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These scientists and many more after them discovered that atoms of uranium, radium and several other radioactive materials are unstable and disintegrate spontaneously and consistently forming atoms of different elements and emitting radiation, a form of energy in the process.

Zircons will loose their tracks at higher temperatures of 200.