Radioactive dating of fossils depends on the decay of

This transformation may be accomplished in a number of different ways, including alpha decay (emission of alpha particles) and beta decay (electron emission, positron emission, or electron capture).Another possibility is spontaneous fission into two or more nuclides.

It is therefore essential to have as much information as possible about the material being dated and to check for possible signs of alteration.

Precision is enhanced if measurements are taken on multiple samples from different locations of the rock body.

After an organism has been dead for 60,000 years, so little carbon-14 is left that accurate dating cannot be established.

On the other hand, the concentration of carbon-14 falls off so steeply that the age of relatively young remains can be determined precisely to within a few decades.

The basic equation of radiometric dating requires that neither the parent nuclide nor the daughter product can enter or leave the material after its formation.

The possible confounding effects of contamination of parent and daughter isotopes have to be considered, as do the effects of any loss or gain of such isotopes since the sample was created.

It is not affected by external factors such as temperature, pressure, chemical environment, or presence of a magnetic or electric field.

The only exceptions are nuclides that decay by the process of electron capture, such as beryllium-7, strontium-85, and zirconium-89, whose decay rate may be affected by local electron density.

In many cases, the daughter nuclide itself is radioactive, resulting in a decay chain, eventually ending with the formation of a stable (nonradioactive) daughter nuclide; each step in such a chain is characterized by a distinct half-life.

In these cases, usually the half-life of interest in radiometric dating is the longest one in the chain, which is the rate-limiting factor in the ultimate transformation of the radioactive nuclide into its stable daughter.

Ernest Rutherford discovered the formula of radioactive decay (Such as the falk-life, differences between alpha and beta decay and even how the elements become new elements after…

Tags: , ,