Radiometric dating 7th grade
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?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?This provides a built-in cross-check to more accurately determine the age of the sample.Uranium is not the only isotope that can be used to date rocks; we do see additional methods of radiometric dating based on the decay of different isotopes.The thing that makes this decay process so valuable for determining the age of an object is that each radioactive isotope decays at its own fixed rate, which is expressed in terms of its half-life.So, if you know the radioactive isotope found in a substance and the isotope's half-life, you can calculate the age of the substance. Well, a simple explanation is that it is the time required for a quantity to fall to half of its starting value.So, we rely on radiometric dating to calculate their ages.Radiometric dating, or radioactive dating as it is sometimes called, is a method used to date rocks and other objects based on the known decay rate of radioactive isotopes.
For example, uranium-lead dating can be used to find the age of a uranium-containing mineral.
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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.
Carbon-14 is continually being created in the atmosphere due to the action of cosmic rays on nitrogen in the air.Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.