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Earth Science<br />Dating with Radioactivity 12.3 <br />
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Radioactivity <br />The spontaneous decay of certain unstable atomic nuclei. <br />
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Half-life <br />The time required for one half of the atoms of a radioactive substance to decay.<br />
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Radiometric Dating<br />The procedure of calculating the absolute ages of rocks and minerals that contain radioactive isotopes.<br />
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Radiocarbon Dating <br />Method for determining age by comparing the amount of carbon-14 to the amount of carbon-12 in a sample <br />
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What is Radioactivity?<br />When nuclei are unstable, they spontaneously break apart, or decay, in a process called radioactivity.<br />
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What is half-life?<br />A half-life is the amount of time necessary for one half of the nuclei in a sample to decay to its stable isotope.<br />
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What is radiometric dating?<br />An accurate radiometric date can be obtained only if the mineral remained in a closed system during the entire period since its formation.<br />
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How is carbon-14 used in radiometric dating?<br />When an organism dies, the amount of carbon-14 gradually decreases as it decays. By comparing the ratio of carbon-14 to carbon-12 in a sample, radiocarbon dates can be determined.<br />
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