Earth science lab radiometric dating answers

As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 70,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.A new, more stable isotope, called the decay, or daughter product, takes its place.The isotope doesn't actually deteriorate; it just changes into something else.Free 5-day trial Ever wonder how scientists concluded the age of the earth to be about 4.6 billion years old or how geologists determined the ages of caverns, rocks, volcanoes, the Himalayas, or even the age of Pompeii bread?Well, scientists are able to answer all of these wondrous questions and more by use of a process called radiometric, or radioactive, dating.An isotope is a variation of an element based upon the number of neutrons.The disintegration of the neutrons within the atom of the element's nucleus is what scientists call radioactivity.

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The half-life is reliable in dating artifacts because it's not affected by environmental or chemical factors; it does not change.

When scientists find a sample, they measure the amount of the original, or parent, isotope and compare it to the amount of the decay product formed.

They then count the number of half-lives passed and compute the absolute age of the sample.

Radiocarbon dating was used to identify a forged painting based upon the concentrations of carbon-14 detected on the canvas within the atmosphere at the time that the picture was painted.

So, to sum this all up, radioactive dating is the process scientists use to conclude the ages of substances dating back several to many years ago by using the isotopes of elements and their half-lives.

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