Other radioactive dating methods vista product key is not validating

Radiometric dating is a method of determining the age of an artifact by assuming that on average decay rates have been constant (see below for the flaws in that assumption) and measuring the amount of radioactive decay that has occurred.Radiometric dating is mostly used to determine the age of rocks, though a particular form of radiometric dating—called Radiocarbon dating—can date wood, cloth, skeletons, and other organic material.That is, the analysis of the isotopic and chemical composition of the sample has far greater uncertainty than any uncertainty in the decay rate itself.The major reason that decay rates can change is that the electric field, from the atom's electron cloud, can change due to chemical changes.The effect of this on alpha decay, which is the most common decay mode in radiometric dating, is utterly insignificant.There is another effect that takes place in the "electron capture" type of Beta decay.For example, in uranium-lead dating, they use rocks containing zircon (Zr Si O Zircon and baddeleyite incorporate uranium atoms into their crystalline structure as substitutes for zirconium, but strongly reject lead.Zircon has a very high closure temperature, is very chemically inert, and is resistant to mechanical weathering.

It is more accurate for shorter time periods (e.g., hundreds of years) during which control variables are less likely to change.Radiometric dating requires that the decay rates of the isotopes involved be accurately known, and that there is confidence that these decay rates are constant. The physical constants (nucleon masses, fine structure constant) involved in radioactive decay are well characterized, and the processes are well understood.Careful astronomical observations show that the constants have not changed significantly in billions of years—spectral lines from distant galaxies would have shifted perceptibly if these constants had changed.The phenomenon we know as heat is simply the jiggling around of atoms and their components, so in principle a high enough temperature could cause the components of the core to break out.However, the temperature required to do this is in in the millions of degrees, so this cannot be achieved by any natural process that we know about.

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In the case of carbon dating, it is not the initial quantity that is important, but the initial ratio of C, but the same principle otherwise applies.

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