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Most rocks contain uranium, allowing uranium-lead and similar methods to date them.

The half-life , specific to each nuclide, can be accurately measured on a pure sample, and is known to be independent of the chemical composition of the sample, temperature and pressure.Through analysis, a bone fragment is determined to contain 13% of its original carbon-14.The half-life of carbon-14 is approximately 5,730 years. Since the quantity represents 13% (or 13/100ths) of , it follows that This is based on the decay of rubidium isotopes to strontium isotopes, and can be used to date rocks or to relate organisms to the rocks on which they formed.Due to the long half-life of uranium it is not suitable for short time periods, such as most archaeological purposes, but it can date the oldest rocks on earth.A proper radiometric date should read years before present (with 1950 being present) ± range/2 at x standard deviations (Xσ)', but is often reported as a single year or a year range, like 1260–1390 CE (the date for the Shroud of Turin).

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