Radioactive dating middle school

26 Feb

Initially inspired by the development of batteries, it covers technology in general and includes some interesting little known, or long forgotten, facts as well as a few myths about the development of technology, the science behind it, the context in which it occurred and the deeds of the many personalities, eccentrics and charlatans involved."Either you do the work or you get the credit" Yakov Zel'dovich - Russian Astrophysicist Fortunately it is not always true.The methods work because radioactive elements are unstable, and they are always trying to move to a more stable state. This process by which an unstable atomic nucleus loses energy by releasing radiation is called radioactive decay.The thing that makes this decay process so valuable for determining the age of an object is that each radioactive isotope decays at its own fixed rate, which is expressed in terms of its half-life.For some reason, which I have not yet figured out, at least one person per week has been asking me about the Carbon-14 Radiometric Dating Technique.

So, we rely on radiometric dating to calculate their ages.

Radioactivity, also known as radioactive decay, is a process by which a radioactive isotope loses subatomic particles (helium nuclei or electrons) from its nucleus along with usual emission of gamma radiation, and becomes a different element.

In a large collection of atoms, there is a definite time, called the half-life of the isotope, after which one-half of the total number of nuclei would have decayed.

To determine the relative age of different rocks, geologists start with the assumption that unless something has happened, in a sequence of sedimentary rock layers, the newer rock layers will be on top of older ones. This rule is common sense, but it serves as a powerful reference point.

Geologists draw on it and other basic principles ( to determine the relative ages of rocks or features such as faults.