Rubidium strontium dating example

Because argon is an inert gas, it is not possible that it might have been in the mineral when it was first formed from molten magma.Any argon present in a mineral containing potassium-40 must have been formed as the result of radioactive decay.For example, uranium-238 is an isotope of uranium-235, because it has 3 more neutrons in the nucleus.It has the same number of protons, otherwise it wouldn't be uranium.

Radiometric dating is a means of determining the "age" of a mineral specimen by determining the relative amounts present of certain radioactive elements.The formula for the fraction remaining is one-half raised to the power given by the number of years divided by the half-life (in other words raised to a power equal to the number of half-lives).If we knew the fraction of a radioactive element still remaining in a mineral, it would be a simple matter to calculate its age by the formula To determine the fraction still remaining, we must know both the amount now present and also the amount present when the mineral was formed.In old rocks, there will be less potassium present than was required to form the mineral, because some of it has been transmuted to argon.The decrease in the amount of potassium required to form the original mineral has consistently confirmed the age as determined by the amount of argon formed.

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