Radiometric dating science definition


18-Nov-2019 14:40

Different methods of radiometric dating vary in the timescale over which they are accurate and the materials to which they can be applied.All ordinary matter is made up of combinations of chemical elements, each with its own atomic number, indicating the number of protons in the atomic nucleus.For all other nuclides, the proportion of the original nuclide to its decay products changes in a predictable way as the original nuclide decays over time.This predictability allows the relative abundances of related nuclides to be used as a clock to measure the time from the incorporation of the original nuclides into a material to the present.Together with stratigraphic principles, radiometric dating methods are used in geochronology to establish the geologic time scale.Among the best-known techniques are radiocarbon dating, potassium–argon dating and uranium–lead dating.If a material that selectively rejects the daughter nuclide is heated, any daughter nuclides that have been accumulated over time will be lost through diffusion, setting the isotopic "clock" to zero.

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

It is not affected by external factors such as temperature, pressure, chemical environment, or presence of a magnetic or electric field.



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