Radioactive dating practice problems
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By "age" we mean the elapsed time from when the mineral specimen was formed.
Radiometric dating is a means of determining the "age" of a mineral specimen by determining the relative amounts present of certain radioactive elements.
Possible other sources of correlation Anomalies of radiometric dating Why a low anomaly percentage is meaningless The biostrategraphic limits issue Preponderance of K-Ar dating Excuses for anomalies Need for a double-blind test Possible changes in the decay rate Isochrons Atlantic sea floor dating Dating Meteorites Conclusion Gentry's radiohaloes in coalified wood Carbon 14 dating Tree ring chronologies Coral dating Varves Growth of coral reefs Evidence for catastrophe in the geologic column Rates of erosion Reliability of creationist sources Radiometric dating methods estimate the age of rocks using calculations based on the decay rates of radioactive elements such as uranium, strontium, and potassium.
On the surface, radiometric dating methods appear to give powerful support to the statement that life has existed on the earth for hundreds of millions, even billions, of years.
Although the time at which any individual atom will decay cannot be forecast, the time in which any given percentage of a sample will decay can be calculated to varying degrees of accuracy.
The time that it takes for half of a sample to decay is known as the half life of the isotope.
Some isotopes have half lives longer than the present age of the universe, but they are still subject to the same laws of quantum physics and will eventually decay, even if doing so at a time when all remaining atoms in the universe are separated by astronomical distances.
Various elements are used for dating different time periods; ones with relatively short half-lives like carbon-14 (or C) are useful for dating once-living objects (since they include atmospheric carbon from when they were alive) from about ten to fifty thousand years old. Longer-lived isotopes provide dating information for much older times.If there were such a pair of isotopes, radiometric dating would be very simple.We could be sure that a mineral containing parentium originally had no daughterium.Contrary to creationist claims, it is possible to make that determination, as the following will explain: By way of background, all atoms of a given element have the same number of protons in the nucleus; however, the number of neutrons in the nucleus can vary.An atom with the same number of protons in the nucleus but a different number of neutrons is called an isotope.Since there is now only 1/4 of the original amount of Parentium-123, we know that two half-lives of Parentium-123 have elapsed.