Earth science 12.3

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  • 1. 12.3 Dating with Radioactivity
  • 2. Radioactivity• The spontaneous decay of certain unstable atomic nuclei.
  • 3. Half- life• The time required for one half of the atoms of a radioactive substance to decay
  • 4. Radiometric dating• The procedure of calculating the absolute ages of rocks and minerals that contain radioactive isotopes.
  • 5. Radiocarbon dating• Method for determining age by comparing the amount of carbon-14 to the amount of carbon-12 in a sample
  • 6. Key Concept• When nuclei are unstable, they spontaneously break apart, or decay, in a process called radioactivity.
  • 7. Key Concept• A half-life is the amount of time necessary for one half of the nuclei in a sample to decay to its stable isotope.
  • 8. Key Concept• Each radioactive isotope has been decaying at a constant rate since the formation of the rocks in which it occurs
  • 9. Key Concept• As the uranium decays, atoms of the daughter product are formed, and measurable amounts of lead eventually accumulate.
  • 10. Key Concept• An accurate radiometric date can be obtained only if the mineral remained in a closed system during the entire period since its formation.
  • 11. Key Concept• When an organism dies, the amount of carbon-14 gradually decreases as it decays. By comparing the ration of carbon- 14 to carbon- 12 in a sample, radio0carbon dates can be determined.