On what kinds of materials can radiocarbon dating be used disadvantages of radiometric dating


28-Jun-2019 00:36

Uranium is not the only isotope that can be used to date rocks; we do see additional methods of radiometric dating based on the decay of different isotopes.

For example, with potassium-argon dating, we can tell the age of materials that contain potassium because we know that potassium-40 decays into argon-40 with a half-life of 1.3 billion years.

So, if you know the radioactive isotope found in a substance and the isotope's half-life, you can calculate the age of the substance. Well, a simple explanation is that it is the time required for a quantity to fall to half of its starting value.

So, you might say that the 'full-life' of a radioactive isotope ends when it has given off all of its radiation and reaches a point of being non-radioactive.

However, rocks and other objects in nature do not give off such obvious clues about how long they have been around.

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So, radiocarbon dating is also useful for determining the age of relics, such the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Shroud of Turin.These two uranium isotopes decay at different rates. The half-life of the uranium-238 to lead-206 is 4.47 billion years.