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Radiometric dating using radioactive decay

Radiometric dating using radioactive decay

Backgrounder Radiometric Dating: Geologists have calculated the age of Earth at 4. Using fossils as guides, they began to piece together a radiometric dating using radioactive decay history of Earth, but it was an imperfect history. Certain isotopes are unstable and undergo a process of radioactive decay, slowly and steadily transforming, molecule by molecule, into a different isotope.

This rate of decay is constant for a given isotope, and the time it takes for one-half of a particular isotope to decay is its radioactive half-life. Using this technique, called radiometric dating, scientists are able to "see" back in time.

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Additionally, elements may exist in different isotopes, with each usually the half​-life of interest in radiometric dating is the. Of course, there are many problems with such dating methods, such as The half life of U is x 10^9 years and that of Ra is x 10^3 years.