Rubidium strontium dating

In an igneous rock formation, the entirety of the cooled rock will have the same ratio of strontium-87 and strontium-86 (another stable isotope).

This means that as the rubidium-87 decays and more strontium-87 is formed, the ratio will change.

It was discovered that some chemical elements, notably uranium and thorium, are strongly radioactive.

These elements occur naturally in nearly all rocks, and they account for the radioactivity you could observe with a Geiger counter.

Uranium-lead dating is one of the most complicated of all dating techniques.The radioactive decay process can be described simply as the transformation of an unstable radioactive atom (called the parent) to a new atom (called the daughter) that may differ in atomic number, atomic mass, or both.The transformation occurs either by loss of particles from, or addition of particles to, the parent nucleus.These radioactive isotopes and their half-lives can be used as our natural clock, i.e., we can find out how old certain rocks are from this information. Using Math to Find the Age of Rock in Southwest Colorado In this section, we will guide you through the process of finding the age of a sample of gabbro found at Electra Lake, just north of Durango in southwest Colorado.Following this, you can repeat these steps to estimate the age of the Earth.

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