Isotope dating old objects


10-Oct-2019 06:04

This means that isotopes with a short half-life won't work to date dinosaur bones.The short half-life is only part of the problem when dating dinosaur bones -- researchers also have to find enough of the parent and daughter atoms to measure.Radiometric dating relies on the properties of isotopes.These are chemical elements, like carbon or uranium, that are identical except for one key feature -- the number of neutrons in their nucleus.The technique is based on measuring the ratio of two isotopes of carbon.Carbon has an atomic number of 6, an atomic weight of 12.011, and has three isotopes: carbon-12, carbon-13, and carbon-14.

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The proportion of carbon-14 to carbon-12 in the atmosphere therefore remains relatively stable at about 1.5 parts per billion.

It can theoretically be used to date anything that was alive any time during the last 60,000 years or so, including charcoal from ancient fires, wood used in construction or tools, cloth, bones, seeds, and leather.



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