What is radioactive isotope dating

Posted by / 18-Oct-2020 10:37

What is radioactive isotope dating

The carbon 14 found in nature is constantly being regenerated by cosmic rays hitting the atmosphere.The rate at which the regeneration takes place has gone virtually unchanged for centuries; a feature which depends on the flux of particles bombarding the earth, and the strength of the magnetic field capable of diverting them.

These radioactive elements constitute independent clocks that allow geologists to determine the age of the rocks in which they occur.This is well-established for most isotopic systems.However, construction of an isochron does not require information on the original compositions, using merely the present ratios of the parent and daughter isotopes to a standard isotope.The number of parent atoms originally present is simply the number present now plus the number of daughter atoms formed by the decay, both of which are quantities that can be measured.Samples for dating are selected carefully to avoid those that are altered, contaminated, or disturbed by later heating or chemical events.

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