Common isotopes for radiometric dating

Posted by / 25-Aug-2017 17:17

The parent element undergoes radioactive decay to form a daughter element.

At one half-life, you would have approximately 50% Carbon-14 and 50% Nitrogen-14.

One way that helps scientists place fossils into the correct era on the Geologic Time Scale is by using radiometric dating.

Also called absolute dating, scientists use the decay of radioactive elements within the fossils or the rocks around the fossils to determine the age of the organism that was preserved.

You would need to have access to scientific instruments at this point that could measure the amount of radioactivity in the sample, so off to the lab we go!

After you prepare your sample and put it into the machine, your readout says you have approximately 75% Nitrogen-14 and 25% Carbon-14.

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The half-lives of several radioactive isotopes are known and are used often to figure out the age of newly found fossils.

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