Radioisotopes decay at a constant rate and the time taken for half the original radioisotope to decay is known as the half life.

## Radioactive Dating

While radioisotope dating is the most commonly used method for dating fossils, other techniques do exist. Origin of Cells 6.

The Blood System 3. Homeostasis Higher Level 7: Sexual Reproduction Options A: The requirement on the populations is now.

Fortunately for radioactive dating processes, additional information is available in the form of other isotopes of the elements involved in the radioactive process. If there is another isotope of the daugther element D' which is presumed to be constant throughout the process, then the population requirement can be expressed in terms of the ratios. We can be reasonably confident that the isotope D' is contant if it is not radioactive not part of one of the natural radioactive series.

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## Radioactive Dating

Using the radioactive decay equation as above, this becomes. Such a line is called an isochron since all the different minerals are presumed to have crystallized together and therefore have the same age since solidification. The age can then be calculated from that slope as follows:. For geologic dating, the age calculation must take into account the presence of the radioactive species at the beginning of the time interval.

If there is a non-radiogenic isotope of the daughter element present in the mineral, it can be used as a reference and the ratios of the parent and daughter elements plotted as ratios with that reference isotope. The slope of the curve then gives the time interval.

## What is Radioactive Dating? - Definition & Facts

Radioactive Dating Because the radioactive half-life of a given radioisotope is not affected by temperature, physical or chemical state, or any other influence of the environment outside the nucleus save direct particle interactions with the nucleus, then radioactive samples continue to decay at a predictable rate and can be used as a clock. For geologic dating, where the time span is on the order of the age of the earth and the methods use the clocks in the rocks , there are two main uncertainties in the dating process: What was the amount of the daughter element when the rocks were formed?

Have any of the parent or daughter atoms been added or removed during the process?

- Radiometric Dating: Methods, Uses & the Significance of Half-Life.
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The requirement of keeping the same number of nuclei gives and the radioactive decay relationship is The elapsed time is then but with the use of the first expression above can be expressed in terms of the present concentrations of the parent and daughter isotopes.