Radiometric dating is a means of determining the "age" of a mineral specimen by determining the relative amounts present of certain radioactive elements. By "age" we mean the elapsed time from when the mineral specimen was formed. Radioactive elements "decay" that is, change into other elements by "half lives.
The formula for the fraction remaining is one-half raised to the power given by the number of years divided by the half-life in other words raised to a power equal to the number of half-lives.
If we knew the fraction of a radioactive element still remaining in a mineral, it would be a simple matter to calculate its age by the formula. To determine the fraction still remaining, we must know both the amount now present and also the amount present when the mineral was formed.
Contrary to creationist claims, it is possible to make that determination, as the following will explain:. By way of background, all atoms of a given element have the same number of protons in the nucleus; however, the number of neutrons in the nucleus can vary.
An atom with the same number of protons in the nucleus but a different number of neutrons is called an isotope. For example, uranium is an isotope of uranium, because it has 3 more neutrons in the nucleus. It has the same number of protons, otherwise it wouldn't be uranium. The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom is called its atomic number. The sum of protons plus neutrons is the mass number.
We designate a specific group of atoms by using the term "nuclide. The element potassium symbol K has three nuclides, K39, K40, and K Only K40 is radioactive; the "What does radioactive dating measurements" two are stable. K40 can decay in two different ways: The ratio of
What does radioactive dating measurements formed to argon formed is fixed and known.
Therefore the amount of argon formed provides a direct measurement of the amount of potassium present in the specimen when it was originally formed.
F, the fraction of K40 remaining, is equal to the amount of potassium in the sample, divided by the sum of potassium in the sample plus the calculated amount of potassium required to produce the amount of argon found. The age can then be calculated from equation 1. In spite of the fact that it is a gas, the argon is trapped in the mineral and can't escape. Creationists claim that argon escape renders age determinations invalid. However, any escaping argon gas would lead to a determined age younger, not older, than actual.
The creationist "argon escape" theory does not support their young earth model. The argon age determination of the mineral can be confirmed by measuring the loss of potassium.
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In old rocks, there will be less potassium present than was required to form the mineral, because some of it has been transmuted to argon. The decrease in the amount of potassium required to form the original mineral has consistently confirmed the age as determined by the amount of argon formed. See Carbon 14 Dating in this web site. The nuclide rubidium decays, with a half life of Strontium is a stable element; it does not undergo further radioactive decay. Do not confuse with the highly radioactive isotope, strontium Strontium occurs naturally as a mixture of several nuclides, including the stable isotope strontium If three different strontium-containing minerals form at the same time in the same magma, each strontium containing mineral will have the same ratios of the different strontium nuclides, since all strontium nuclides behave the same chemically.
Note that this does not mean that the ratios are the same everywhere on earth.
What does radioactive dating measurements merely means that the ratios are the same in the particular magma from which the test sample was later taken.
As strontium forms, its ratio to strontium will increase. Strontium is a stable element that does not undergo radioactive change.
In addition, it is not formed as the result of a radioactive decay process. The amount of strontium in a given mineral sample will not change. Therefore the relative amounts of rubidium and strontium can be determined by expressing their ratios to strontium It turns out to be a straight line with a slope of The corresponding half lives for each plotted point are marked on the line and identified.
It can be readily seen from the plots that when this procedure is followed with different amounts of Rb87 in different mineralsif the plotted half life points are connected, a straight line going through the origin is produced. These
What does radioactive dating measurements are called "isochrons". The steeper the slope of the isochron, the more half lives it represents. When the fraction of rubidium is plotted against the fraction of strontium for a number of different minerals from the same magma an isochron is obtained.
If the points lie on a straight line, this indicates that the data is consistent and probably accurate. An example of this can be found in Strahler, Fig If the strontium isotope was not present in the mineral at the time it was formed from the molten magma, then the geometry of the plotted isochron lines requires that they all intersect the origin, as shown in figure However, if strontium 87 was present in the mineral when it was first formed from molten magma, that amount will
What does radioactive dating measurements shown by an intercept of the isochron lines on the y-axis, as shown in Fig Thus it is possible to correct for strontium initially present.
The age of the sample can be obtained by choosing the origin at the y intercept. Note that the amounts of rubidium 87 and strontium 87 are given as ratios to an inert isotope, strontium However, in calculating the ratio of Rb87 to Sr87, we can use a simple analytical geometry solution to the plotted data.
What does radioactive dating measurements referring to Fig. Since the half-life of Rb87 is When properly carried out, radioactive dating test procedures have shown consistent and close agreement among the various methods. If the same result is obtained sample after sample, using different test procedures based on different decay sequences, and carried out by different laboratories, that is a pretty good indication that the age determinations are accurate. Of course, test procedures, like anything else, can be screwed up.
Mistakes can be made at the time a procedure is first being developed. Creationists seize upon any isolated reports of improperly run tests and try to categorize them as representing general shortcomings of the test procedure. This like saying if my watch isn't running, then all watches are useless for keeping time.
Creationists also attack radioactive dating with the argument that half-lives were different in the past than they are at present. There is no more reason to believe that than to believe that at some time in the past iron did not rust and wood did not burn. Furthermore, astronomical data show that radioactive half-lives in elements in stars billions of light years away is the same as presently measured.
On pages and of The Genesis Flood, creationist authors Whitcomb and Morris present an argument to try to convince the reader that ages of mineral specimens determined by radioactivity measurements are much greater than the
What does radioactive dating measurements i. The mathematical procedures employed are totally inconsistent with reality. Henry Morris has a PhD in Hydraulic Engineering, so it would seem that he would know better than to author such nonsense.
Apparently, he did know better, because he qualifies the exposition in a footnote stating:.
Radiocarbon dating is essentially a...
This discussion is not meant to be an exact exposition of radiogenic age computation; the relation is mathematically more complicated than the direct proportion assumed for
What does radioactive dating measurements illustration. Nevertheless, the principles described are substantially applicable to the actual relationship.
Morris states that the production rate of an element formed by radioactive decay is constant with time. This is not true, although for a short period of time compared to the length of the half life the change in production rate may be very small.
Radioactive elements decay by half-lives. At the end of the first half life, only half of the radioactive element remains, and therefore the production rate of the element formed by radioactive decay will be only half of what it was at the beginning. The authors state on p. If these elements existed also as the result of direct creation, it is reasonable to assume that they existed in these same proportions. Say, then, that their initial amounts are represented by quantities of A and cA respectively.
What does radioactive dating measurements makes a number of unsupported assumptions: This is not correct; radioactive elements decay by half lives, as explained in the first paragraphs of this post.
There is absolutely no evidence to support this assumption, and a great deal of evidence that electromagnetic radiation does not affect the rate of decay of terrestrial radioactive elements. He sums it up with the equations: He then calculates an "age" for the first element by dividing its quantity by its decay rate, R; and an "age" for the second element by dividing its quantity by its decay rate,
What does radioactive dating measurements. It's obvious from the above two equations that the result shows the same age for both elements, which is: Of course, the mathematics are completely wrong.
The correct relation can obtained by rearranging the equation given at the beginning of this post: For a half life of years, the following table shows the fraction remaining for various time periods:.
Radiometric dating or radioactive dating...
By way of contrast, the following table displays the incorrect values calculated on the basis of the Morris straight line relationship: In all his mathematics, R is taken as a constant value. We may therefore set R as equal to the initial rate in the above table:. Calculating, using the Morris equation: Morris' equations would indicate that after years the amount of parent element would be completely gone,
What does radioactive dating measurements the daughter element would nevertheless continue to be formed!
Click on the web site of Dr. Roger Wiens of Cal Tech for a detailed analysis of the accuracy of radioactive dating. Additional information is also available in talk. Isochron Dating and Age of Earth. Radiometric Dating: Methods, Uses & the Significance of Half-Life "What does radioactive dating measurements." When scientists find a sample, they measure the amount of the original, or parent, isotope.
It measures time -like our...
It measures time -like our ancestors - by using hourglasses provided by Radioactive dating can also be applied to the dating of rocks as old as the Earth.
Radiometric dating is a means of determining the "age" of a mineral specimen by Therefore the amount of argon formed provides a direct measurement of the.
The isotope 14C, a radioactive form of carbon, is produced in the A potassium-... Radiocarbon dating is a method that provides objective age estimates for carbon-based materials that originated from living... It measures time -like our ancestors - by using hourglasses provided by Radioactive... Radiometric dating is used to estimate the age of rocks and other objects based on the fixed decay... What does radioactive dating measure | Happy to Wander Radiometric dating or radioactive dating is a technique used to date materials such as rocks...
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After reading this is used to estimate how it is unaffected close. After point discusses how radioactive disintegration, or fossil is in use accustomed to today bar the. Radiometric dating and the life-span of the daughter isotope present.
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What does radioactive dating measurements
What does radioactive dating measurements
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What does radioactive dating measurements
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What does radioactive dating measurements
Radiometric dating is a means of determining the "age" of a mineral specimen by determining the relative amounts present of certain radioactive elements.
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The aging process in human beings is tolerant to see. As we age, our hair turns gray, our skin wrinkles and our gait slows. However, rocks and other objects in nature do not give off such obvious clues about how long they have unstylish around.
So, we bank on radiometric dating to calculate their ages. Radiometric dating, or radioactive dating as it is on occasion called, is a method used to date rocks and other objects based on the known putrefy rate of radioactive isotopes.
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