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For example, uranium-238 is an isotope of uranium-235, because it has 3 more neutrons in the nucleus.
It has the same number of protons, otherwise it wouldn't be uranium.
Contrary to creationist claims, it is possible to make that determination, as the following will explain: By way of background, all atoms of a given element have the same number of protons in the nucleus; however, the number of neutrons in the nucleus can vary.
An atom with the same number of protons in the nucleus but a different number of neutrons is called an isotope.
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.
The decrease in the amount of potassium required to form the original mineral has consistently confirmed the age as determined by the amount of argon formed.
Because argon is an inert gas, it is not possible that it might have been in the mineral when it was first formed from molten magma.
Any argon present in a mineral containing potassium-40 must have been formed as the result of radioactive decay.
In addition, it is not formed as the result of a radioactive decay process.
The amount of strontium-86 in a given mineral sample will not change.
Strontium-87 is a stable element; it does not undergo further radioactive decay.