Why is radioactive dating the most reliable method of dating the geologic past
Of all the isotopic dating methods in use today, the uranium-lead method is the oldest and, when done carefully, the most reliable. Unlike any other method, uranium-lead has a natural cross-check built into it that shows when nature has tampered with the evidence. Uranium comes in two common isotopes with atomic weights of and we'll call them U and U. Both are unstable and radioactive, shedding nuclear particles in a cascade that doesn't stop until they become lead Pb. The two cascades are different—U becomes Pb and U becomes Pb. What makes this fact useful is that they occur at different rates, as expressed in their half-lives the time it takes for half the atoms to decay.
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Radiometric Age Dating
Why is radiometric dating the most reliable method of dating the geologic past? - Answers
Radiometric dating , radioactive dating or radioisotope dating is a technique which is used to date materials such as rocks or carbon , in which trace radioactive impurities were selectively incorporated when they were formed. The method compares the abundance of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope within the material to the abundance of its decay products, which form at a known constant rate of decay. Together with stratigraphic principles , radiometric dating methods are used in geochronology to establish the geologic time scale. By allowing the establishment of geological timescales, it provides a significant source of information about the ages of fossils and the deduced rates of evolutionary change.
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There will be no changes to other Yahoo properties or services, or your Yahoo account. You can find more information about the Yahoo Answers shutdown and how to download your data on this help page. Because it works by measuring the amounts of radioactive isotopes in various minerals found in rocks.
Absolute dating involves a numerical age measurement in actual time units, like thousands or millions of years. Relative dating involves placing sequences of rocks, geological features, and events in the correct order in which they occurred, without necessarily knowing their absolute ages. Describe two early methods for dating Earth.