Radiometric dating techniques rocks

Posted by / 28-Oct-2020 10:15

Another possibility is spontaneous fission into two or more nuclides.While the moment in time at which a particular nucleus decays is unpredictable, a collection of atoms of a radioactive nuclide decays exponentially at a rate described by a parameter known as the half-life, usually given in units of years when discussing dating techniques.

Different methods of radiometric dating vary in the timescale over which they are accurate and the materials to which they can be applied.The temperature at which this happens is known as the closure temperature or blocking temperature and is specific to a particular material and isotopic system.These temperatures are experimentally determined in the lab by artificially resetting sample minerals using a high-temperature furnace.After one half-life has elapsed, one half of the atoms of the nuclide in question will have decayed into a "daughter" nuclide or decay product.In many cases, the daughter nuclide itself is radioactive, resulting in a decay chain, eventually ending with the formation of a stable (nonradioactive) daughter nuclide; each step in such a chain is characterized by a distinct half-life.

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In these cases, usually the half-life of interest in radiometric dating is the longest one in the chain, which is the rate-limiting factor in the ultimate transformation of the radioactive nuclide into its stable daughter.