Radiometric dating is a means of determining the "age" of a mineral specimen by determining the relative amounts present of certain radioactive elements. By "age" we mean the elapsed time from when the mineral specimen was formed. Radioactive elements "decay" that is, change into other elements by "half lives. The formula for the fraction remaining is one-half raised to the power given by the number of years divided by the half-life in other words raised to a power equal to the number of half-lives. If we knew the fraction of a radioactive element still remaining in a mineral, it would be a simple matter to calculate its age by the formula. To determine the fraction still remaining, we must know both the amount now present and also the amount present when the mineral was formed.
What is Radioactive Dating? - Definition & Facts
A process for determining the age of an object by measuring the amount of a given radioactive material it contains. If one knows how much of this radioactive material was present initially in the object by determining how much of the material has decayed , and one knows the half-life of the material, one can deduce the age of the object. Nearby words radioluminescence , radiolysis , radioman , radiometeorograph , radiometer , radiometric dating , radiomicrometer , radiomimetic , radionecrosis , radioneuritis , radionics. Origin of radiometric dating First recorded in — Also called radioactive dating.
Radiometric Dating: Methods, Uses & the Significance of Half-Life
Radiometric dating works by determining the ratio of the number of isotopes of an element and the number of isotopes the element it turns into over time. Since the rate at which certain elements decay and turn into different elements is understood, scientists are able to calculate the age of substances. During the formation of the Earth, radioactive elements became embedded in the minerals that make up the Earth's crust. Since many of the minerals seen on a daily basis contain elements that decay over time, scientists can determine the ages of certain types of rocks. The elements embedded in the Earth's crust decay over time because they are very unstable.
Radioactive dating works by measuring the percentage of a radioactive isotope present in a sample. Divide the percentage in half again Again divide it in half 6. For example Carbon 14 has a half life of 5, years. If a sample has 6.