Start Example sentence for radiometric dating

Example sentence for radiometric dating

Carbon, uranium and potassium are just a few examples of elements used in radioactive dating.

If a scientist were to compute this, s/he would say…

two half-lives went by at a rate of 4.5 billion years per half-life; therefore, the sample is approximately 2 times 4.5 billion or 9 billion years old. So you see, Earth scientists are able to use the half-lives of isotopes to date materials back to thousands, millions and even to billions of years old.

The isotope doesn't actually deteriorate; it just changes into something else.

Isotopes decay at a constant rate known as the half-life.

Absolute age is just a fancy way of saying definitive or specific age as opposed to the relative age, which only refers to how old or young a substance is in comparison to something else.

To illustrate, let's use the isotope uranium-238, which has a half-life of 4.5 billion years.

This means that after approximately 4.5 billion years, half of an original sample containing this isotope will decay into its decay product, forming the new isotope, Pb 206 (lead 206).

If another 4.5 billion years were to pass, then half of the remaining half of uranium-238 would also decay, leaving 25% uranium to 75% lead.

The half-life is so predictable that it is also referred to as an atomic clock.

Can you guess how much uranium-238 would remain after the passing of another half-life?

The half-life is the amount of time it takes for half of the atoms of a specific isotope to decay.