Radioactive age dating definition find people for dating chat
We call the original, unstable isotope (Uranium) the "parent", and the product of decay (Lead) the "daughter".
From careful physics and chemistry experiments, we know that parents turn into daughters at a very consistent, predictable rate.
There are many radiometric clocks and when applied to appropriate materials, the dating can be very accurate.
As one example, the first minerals to crystallize (condense) from the hot cloud of gasses that surrounded the Sun as it first became a star have been dated to 4568 plus or minus 2 million years....!! Other events on earth can be dated equally well given the right minerals.
Answer 2: Yes, radiometric dating is a very accurate way to date the Earth.
We know it is accurate because radiometric dating is based on the radioactive decay of unstable isotopes.
For example, a problem I have worked on involving the eruption of a volcano at what is now Naples, Italy, occurred 38500 years ago with a plus or minus of 300 years.
After death the amount of carbon-14 in the organic specimen decreases very regularly as the molecules decay.Hope that helps, and please ask if you'd like more details! I think that I will start by answering the second part of your question, just because I think that will make the answer to the first question clearer.Radiometric dating is the use of radioactive and radiogenic (those formed from the decay of radioactive parents) isotopes (isotopes are atoms of the same element that have different numbers of neutrons in their nuclei) to determine the age of something.The reason that I trust the accuracy of the age that we have determined for the earth (~4.56 billion years) is that we have been able to obtain a very similar result using many different isotopic systems.Most estimates of the age of the earth come from dating meteorites that have fallen to Earth (because we think that they formed in our solar nebula very close to the time that the earth formed).
The ratio of the parent to daughter then can be used to back-calculate the age of that rock. The reason we know that radiometric dating works so well is because we can use several different isotope systems (for example, Uranium-Lead, Lutetium-Halfnium, Potassium-Argon) on the same rock, and they all come up with the same age.