# Line graphs and radiometric dating of rocks, you must create an account to continue watching

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For additional discussion, see Radiocarbon dating. This process by which an unstable atomic nucleus loses energy by releasing radiation is called radioactive decay. Usually it involves using more than one sample from a given rock. Because of this, the uranium, and its contribution to the thorium abundance, can in many cases be ignored in sediments. The only two quantities in the exponent of a decay rate equation are the half-life and the time.

In fact, this form of dating has been used to date the age of rocks brought back to Earth from the moon. Radiocarbon Dating 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? 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.

Vast amounts of data overwhelmingly favor an old Earth. The isochron techniques are partly based on this principle. For example, uranium-lead dating can be used to find the age of a uranium-containing mineral. There are actually many more methods out there.

In fact, tens of thousands of uranium-series dates have been performed on cave formations around the world. Half-Life So, what exactly is this thing called a half-life? If layers contain dead plant material, they can be used to calibrate the carbon ages. Unlike the radioactive isotopes discussed above, these isotopes are constantly being replenished in small amounts in one of two ways. Additionally, lavas of historically known ages have been correctly dated even using methods with long half-lives.

Radiometric dating is based on the half-lives of the radioactive isotopes. There are only a few different dating methods. However, rocks and other objects in nature do not give off such obvious clues about how long they have been around. Most of the decay rates used for dating rocks are known to within two percent.

Essentially all of these strongly favor an old Earth. The method has also been used to date stalactites and stalagmites from caves, already mentioned in connection with long-term calibration of the radiocarbon method. This dating method relies on measuring certain isotopes produced by cosmic ray impacts on exposed rock surfaces. Radioactive Decay The methods work because radioactive elements are unstable, and they are always trying to move to a more stable state.

This provides a built-in cross-check to more accurately determine the age of the sample. Anyone can move the hands on a clock and get the wrong time.

## Radiometric Dating

It is done by comparing the ratios of parent and daughter isotopes relative to a stable isotope for samples with different relative amounts of the parent isotope. This starts the dating clock.

The slope of the line determines the date, and the closeness of fit is a measure of the statistical reliability of the resulting date. There are well over forty different radiometric dating methods, and scores of other methods such as tree rings and ice cores. Well over forty different radiometric dating methods are in use, and a number of non-radiogenic methods not even mentioned here. The agreement of many different dating methods, both radiometric and non-radiometric, over hundreds of thousands of samples, missionary becomes atheist dating is very convincing. Technical details on how these dates are calculated are given in Radiometric dating.

Just how reliable are these dates? Several hundred thousand measurements are sometimes made for a single technique on a single ice core. As one goes further down in the ice core, the ice becomes more compacted than near the surface, and individual yearly layers are slightly more difficult to observe. The bottom two entries, uranium and thorium, are replenished as the long-lived uranium atoms decay.

Scientists have extended this calibration even further. This is much more complicated because the Earth's magnetic field and atmosphere shield us from most of the cosmic rays.

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