Radiometric dating is possible if

29 Jan

Radiocarbon dating does not work on anything inorganic, like rocks or fossils.Only things that once were alive and now are dead: bones, teeth, flesh, leaves, etc.When we know how much has decayed, we know how old the sample is.Many archaeological sites have been dated by applying radiocarbon dating to samples of bone, wood, or cloth found there. One is that the thing being dated is organic in origin.Because it's a statistical measurement, there's always a margin of error in the age figure, but if the procedure is done properly, the margin is very small. We must know the original quantity of the parent isotope in order to date our sample radiometrically. In order to do so, we need an isotope that's part of a mineral compound. Because there's a basic law of chemistry that says "Chemical processes like those that form minerals can't distinguish between different isotopes of the same element." This is because an element's chemical behavior depends only on the number of electrons it has, which is the same as its number of protons.

Thus this essay, which is my attempt at producing such a source.The second assumption is that the organism in question got its carbon from the atmosphere.A third is that the thing has remained closed to C14 since the organism from which it was created died.So, if we know how much of the isotope was originally present, and how much there is now, we can easily calculate how long it would take for the missing amount to decay, and therefore how long it's been since that particular sample was formed.That's the essence of radiometric dating: measure the amount that's present, calculate how much is missing, and figure out how long it would take for that quantity of the isotope to break down.