Radiometric age dating activity

13-Feb-2018 16:26 by 3 Comments

Radiometric age dating activity

In fact, this form of dating has been used to date the age of rocks brought back to Earth from the moon.So, we see there are a number of different methods for dating rocks and other non-living things, but what if our sample is organic in nature?

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

For example, how do we know that the Iceman, whose frozen body was chipped out of glacial ice in 1991, is 5,300 years old?

Well, we know this because samples of his bones and hair and even his grass boots and leather belongings were subjected to radiocarbon dating.

Carbon-14 is continually being created in the atmosphere due to the action of cosmic rays on nitrogen in the air.

Carbon-14 combines with oxygen to create carbon dioxide.

With radiocarbon dating, the amount of the radioactive isotope carbon-14 is measured.

Compared to some of the other radioactive isotopes we have discussed, carbon-14's half-life of 5,730 years is considerably shorter, as it decays into nitrogen-14.When the isotope is halfway to that point, it has reached its half-life.There are different methods of radiometric dating that will vary due to the type of material that is being dated.For example, uranium-lead dating can be used to find the age of a uranium-containing mineral.It works because we know the fixed radioactive decay rates of uranium-238, which decays to lead-206, and for uranium-235, which decays to lead-207.So, we start out with two isotopes of uranium that are unstable and radioactive.

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