Isotopes frequently used in radiometric dating worksheet


12-Dec-2020 21:04

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Because plants use carbon dioxide for photosynthesis, this isotope ends up inside the plant, and because animals eat plants, they get some as well.

When a plant or an animal dies, it stops taking in carbon-14.

Uranium is not the only isotope that can be used to date rocks; we do see additional methods of radiometric dating based on the decay of different isotopes.

For example, with potassium-argon dating, we can tell the age of materials that contain potassium because we know that potassium-40 decays into argon-40 with a half-life of 1.3 billion years.

So, we start out with two isotopes of uranium that are unstable and radioactive.

They release radiation until they eventually become stable isotopes of lead.

These two uranium isotopes decay at different rates. The half-life of the uranium-238 to lead-206 is 4.47 billion years.

Carbon-14 combines with oxygen to create carbon dioxide.

And this would also include things like trees and plants, which give us paper and cloth.

So, radiocarbon dating is also useful for determining the age of relics, such the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Shroud of Turin.

With rubidium-strontium dating, we see that rubidium-87 decays into strontium-87 with a half-life of 50 billion years.

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By anyone's standards, 50 billion years is a long time.These differing rates of decay help make uranium-lead dating one of the most reliable methods of radiometric dating because they provide two different decay clocks.



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