Radioactive dating uranium
The uranium and thorium decay systems offer a multitude of radiometric dating options.Uranium 238 decays through a series of steps to Lead 206.The technique of comparing the abundance ratio of a radioactive isotope to a reference isotope to determine the age of a material is called radioactive dating.Many isotopes have been studied, probing a wide range of time scales.It is the principal source of information about the absolute age of rocks and other geological features, including the age of the Earth itself, and it can be used to date a wide range of natural and man-made materials.The best-known radiometric dating techniques include radiocarbon dating, potassium-argon dating, and uranium-lead dating.
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After one half-life has elapsed, one half of the atoms of the nuclide in question will have decayed into a "daughter" nuclide, or decay product.
In many cases, the daughter nuclide is radioactive, resulting in a decay chain.
By establishing geological timescales, radiometric dating provides a significant source of information about the ages of fossils and rates of evolutionary change, and it is also used to date archaeological materials, including ancient artifacts.
The different methods of radiometric dating are accurate over different timescales, and they are useful for different materials.
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This chain eventually ends with the formation of a stable, nonradioactive daughter nuclide.