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Absolute age dating exercise 1 - facstaff.bucknell.edu

Although the time at which any individual atom will decay cannot be forecast, the time in which any given percentage of a sample will decay can be calculated to varying degrees of accuracy.

Radiometric dating - Rational

The time that it takes for half of a sample to decay is known as the half life of the isotope.

Ar/39Ar <em>Dating</em> of the Late Cretaceous -

Ar/39Ar Dating of the Late Cretaceous -

Some isotopes have half lives longer than the present age of the universe, but they are still subject to the same laws of quantum physics and will eventually decay, even if doing so at a time when all remaining atoms in the universe are separated by astronomical distances.

A Human Deciduous Tooth and New 40Ar/39Ar Dating

Various elements are used for dating different time periods; ones with relatively short half-lives like carbon-14 (or C) are useful for dating once-living objects (since they include atmospheric carbon from when they were alive) from about ten to fifty thousand years old. Longer-lived isotopes provide dating information for much older times.


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