Radioactive dating process
Scientists look at half-life decay rates of radioactive isotopes to estimate when a particular atom might decay.
A useful application of half-lives is radioactive dating.
Then they tried to estimate how long it would take a mountain to erode down to the level which they could see.
Even based on those rough estimates early geologists came to realize the earth was at least hundreds of million years old.
A few believed that the earth could be a couple million years old.
By definition, D* = N-1) (2) Now we can calculate the age if we know the number of daughter atoms produced by decay, D* and the number of parent atoms now present, N.
This decay is an example of an exponential decay, shown in the figure below.
Knowing about half-lives is important because it enables you to determine when a sample of radioactive material is safe to handle.
One problematic issue surrounding the process of evolution centers on dating the age of the earth itself.
Even a couple hundred years ago, everyone believed that the earth was just a few thousand years old.
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In order for the process of evolution to work at all, it requires extremely long periods of time.