Carbon 14 the radioactive nuclide used in dating fossils has

The purpose of this chapter is to explain the process of radioactive decay and its relationship to the concept of half-life.The primary intent is to demonstrate how the half-life of a radionuclide can be used in practical ways to “fingerprint” radioactive materials, to “date” organic materials, to estimate the age of the earth, and to optimize the medical benefits of radionuclide usage. Remember that a radionuclide represents an element with a particular combination of protons and neutrons (nucleons) in the nucleus of the atom.Radiometric dating, often called radioactive dating, is a technique used to determine the age of materials such as rocks.It is based on a comparison between the observed abundance of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope and its decay products, using known decay rates.

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Reaching stability involves the process of radioactive decay.We are told that of all the radiometric dates that are measured, only a few percent are anomalous.This gives us the impression that all but a small percentage of the dates computed by radiometric methods agree with the assumed ages of the rocks in which they are found, and that all of these various methods almost always give ages that agree with each other to within a few percentage points.It is the principal source of information about the absolute age of rocks and other geological features, including the age of the Earth itself, and it can be used to date a wide range of natural and man-made materials.The best-known radiometric dating techniques include radiocarbon dating, potassium-argon dating, and uranium-lead dating.

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