Radiometric dating lesson plan

17-Jan-2016 00:28 by 8 Comments

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Scientist Britt Argow talks with teacher Joe Reilly about how scientists can determine the approximate age of a rock: comparing the relative abundance of naturally-occurring radioactive elements to their decay products.

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After another 713 million years, half of what was left will have decayed, etc. Current methods include using the known decay rates of radioactive isotopes present in rocks to measure the time since the rock was formed.By measuring the ratio of uranium-235 to lead, scientists can calculate the age of the rock. Radiometric dating is a method used to determine the age of rocks and other materials based on the rate of radioactive decay. Radiometric dating is a method used to date rocks based on the known decay rate of radioactive isotopes. Now, they do not give off enough radiation that you have to be afraid to pick them up, but they do contain naturally occurring radioactive elements like uranium, for example.Learn about three common types of radioactive decay: alpha decay, beta decay and gamma decay. You simply subtract your birth date from the current date. It was also discovered that these elements decayed into other elements at fixed rates. So we have to rely on something called radiometric dating to figure out the age of rock.Because these rates do not change and because the radiation that rocks give off can be measured, it became possible to calculate the time the rock was formed or, in other words, the rock's birth date - give or take a few thousand years or so.

Radiometric dating is sometimes referred to as radioactive dating.In fact, you might like this term better, because the dating method relies on the known decay rate of radioactive isotopes.Regardless of which name you prefer, the discovery was a true breakthrough that provided a tool to predict the geological history of the Earth and even the age of the Earth itself.To better understand how radiometric dating helps us determine the age of rocks, it will help us to gain a better understanding of how elements decay.Radioactive decay is the term used for the process by which an unstable atomic nucleus loses energy by releasing radiation.We know that elements can exist as isotopes, which means that their atomic nuclei contain the same number of protons but different numbers of neutrons.

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