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  • 1. Earth Science
    Dating with Radioactivity 12.3
  • 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. What is Radioactivity?
    When nuclei are unstable, they spontaneously break apart, or decay, in a process called radioactivity.
  • 7. What is half-life?
    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. What is radiometric dating?
    An accurate radiometric date can be obtained only if the mineral remained in a closed system during the entire period since its formation.
  • 9. How is carbon-14 used in radiometric dating?
    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.