Rubidium 87 radioactive dating
The radioactive decay process can be described simply as the transformation of an unstable radioactive atom (called the parent) to a new atom (called the daughter) that may differ in atomic number, atomic mass, or both.The transformation occurs either by loss of particles from, or addition of particles to, the parent nucleus.When the isotope is halfway to that point, it has reached its half-life.There are different methods of radiometric dating that will vary due to the type of material that is being dated.It was discovered that some chemical elements, notably uranium and thorium, are strongly radioactive.These elements occur naturally in nearly all rocks, and they account for the radioactivity you could observe with a Geiger counter.
Learn about half-life and how it is used in different dating methods, such as uranium-lead dating and radiocarbon dating, in this video lesson. 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 been around.
So, we rely on radiometric dating to calculate their ages.
Radiometric dating, or radioactive dating as it is sometimes called, is a method used to date rocks and other objects based on the known decay rate of radioactive isotopes.
Different methods of radiometric dating can be used to estimate the age of a variety of natural and even man-made materials.