Elements used for radioactive dating

This decay process leads to a more balanced nucleus and when the number of protons and neutrons balance, the atom becomes stable.This radioactivity can be used for dating, since a radioactive 'parent' element decays into a stable 'daughter' element at a constant rate.

This technique also helps in determining the composition and evolution of the Earth's mantle and bodies in the universe.Some techniques place the sample in a nuclear reactor first to excite the isotopes present, then measure these isotopes using a mass spectrometer (such as in the argon-argon scheme).Others place mineral grains under a special microscope, firing a laser beam at the grains which ionises the mineral and releases the isotopes.Radiocarbon dating is normally suitable for organic materials less than 50 000 years old because beyond that time the amount of 14C becomes too small to be accurately measured.

Elements used for radioactive dating comments

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