Types of radio dating
By comparing this ratio to the half-life logarithmic scale of the parent isotope, they are able to find the age of the rock or fossil in question.There are several common radioactive isotopes that are used for dating rocks, artifacts and fossils. U-235 is found in many igneous rocks, soil and sediment.Corina Fiore is a writer and photographer living in suburban Philadelphia. She worked as a staff writer for science texts and has been published in Praxis review materials for beginning teachers. You probably have seen or read news stories about fascinating ancient artifacts.
Protons and neutrons make up the center (nucleus) of the atom, and electrons form shells around the nucleus.
U-235 decays to Pb-207 with a half-life of 704 million years.
Due to its long half-life, U-235 is the best isotope for radioactive dating, particularly of older fossils and rocks. The half-life of C-14, however, is only 5,730 years.
In this article, we will examine the methods by which scientists use radioactivity to determine the age of objects, most notably carbon-14 dating.
Carbon-14 dating is a way of determining the age of certain archeological artifacts of a biological origin up to about 50,000 years old.