Radiometric dating controversy

We can measure directly, for example by using a radiation detector, and obtain a good estimate of by analyzing the chemical composition of the sample.The half-life , specific to each nuclide, can be accurately measured on a pure sample, and is known to be independent of the chemical composition of the sample, temperature and pressure.It suffers from the problem that rubidium and strontium are very mobile and may easily enter rocks at a much later date to that of formation.

radiometric dating controversy-76

A limitation with all forms of radiometric dating is that they depend on the presence of certain elements in the substance to be dated.Note that although carbon-14 dating receives a lot of attention, since it can give information about the relatively recent past, it is rarely used in geology (and almost never used to date fossils).Carbon-14 decays almost completely within 100,000 years of the organism dying, and many fossils and rock strata are hundreds of times older than that.Some isotopes have half lives longer than the present age of the universe, but they are still subject to the same laws of quantum physics and will eventually decay, even if doing so at a time when all remaining atoms in the universe are separated by astronomical distances.Various elements are used for dating different time periods; ones with relatively short half-lives like carbon-14 (or C) are useful for dating once-living objects (since they include atmospheric carbon from when they were alive) from about ten to fifty thousand years old. Longer-lived isotopes provide dating information for much older times.

Leave a Reply