Definition radioactive dating updating palm centro

Geologists often need to know the age of material that they find.They use absolute dating methods, sometimes called numerical dating, to give rocks an actual date, or date range, in number of years.Among the best-known techniques are radiocarbon dating, potassium-argon dating and uranium-lead dating.By allowing the establishment of geological timescales, it provides a significant source of information about the ages of fossils and the deduced rates of evolutionary change.Radiometric dating or radioactive dating is a technique used to date materials such as rocks or carbon, in which trace radioactive impurities were selectively incorporated when they were formed.The method compares the abundance of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope within the material to the abundance of its decay products, which form at a known constant rate of decay.Carbon, uranium and potassium are just a few examples of elements used in radioactive dating.

The half-life of uranium-238 is 4500 million years.

For inorganic materials, such as rocks containing the radioactive isotope rubidium, the amount of the isotope in the object is compared to the amount of the isotope's decay products (in this case strontium).

The object's approximate age can then be figured out using the known rate of decay of the isotope.

Radiometric dating is also used to date archaeological materials, including ancient artifacts.

Different methods of radiometric dating vary in the timescale over which they are accurate and the materials to which they can be applied.

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